Beef Pie

Funny story – I actually wanted noodles for supper tonight…..and somehow I ended up at beef pie. The internet is a wondrous thing. You start somewhere, looking for inspiration and end up a million pages away.

Anyway, this can be made with a pie crust to completely enclose it, just a top pie crust or with a baking powder biscuit topping like I used.

I really did intend to make pastry, but the thought of bringing out the beast food processor did not appeal to me. It’s noisy and it’s just a pain. I could learn to be less ham-handed when I make pastry, like I did with biscuits and bread, but that’s kind of crazy talk. So baking powder biscuits it became…with some Parmesan cheese thrown in for good measure.

I cooked the ground beef from frozen because…no planning. 🙂 If your beef is a little fattier than the stuff I use, by all means, drain it after it’s cooked and before you go any further – don’t rinse it, though, that gets all the flavour off of it. I used to, when I bought regular ground beef (80/20 I believe), drain and rinse the beef in a collandar….fat helps with the flavour, drain it well but don’t wash away the tasty stuff. The stuff I get from Costco is really lean, so I never have to drain it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced very fine
  • 1-2 TB tomato paste (I didn’t have any, but thought I did, so I used 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of beer – whatever kind you like and will drink because this won’t use it all 🙂
  • up to ½ cup of beef broth or bouillon
  • 2-3 TB flour
  • 2 cups of vegetables – I used peas
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brown the beef….or do like I did, and cook it from frozen, then get it brown.

Add the tomato paste or tomatoes, as the case may be, and cook. For tomato paste, you want to cook it a minute or two to get the strong tomato acid taste to calm down. For tomatoes, Okibreak them open and let the juices mingle with the beef and let the tomatoes themselves start to soften and break down a little.

Add the garlic and the vegetables. Cook for a couple minutes on medium-low, until the garlic is fragrant. If you are using frozen vegetables, don’t fret, this is going to go in the oven so they can finish cooking in there.

Add the flour and mix very well. You don’t want to see any bits of flour anywhere, everything should be coated.

Add the beer and cook at medium-high until the mixture is thickened. Add some broth until you get to a thick but not solid consistency. I used a teaspoon of beef Better Than Bouillon and didn’t add any water at all, but I wanted my “pie” to stay in shape. If I had cooked it in a crust, it would be perfect the next day cold and would stay in the crust and not on the floor.

I did add leftover potatoes to my pie, but it certainly doesn’t need them. I added about a cup and a half, which definitely added to the solidity of my filling.

Preheat your oven to 400F.

I made baking powder biscuits:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 6 TB mayonnaise
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 TB of Parmesan cheese (optional)

Mix in a bowl – will be a sticky dough. Drop by spoonfuls onto the pie filling.

NOTE: if the pan you’ve been cooking in is not oven proof, move the filling to a pan that is….a baking pan, a casserole dish, a pie pan, whatever works. I used a cast iron frying pan so I was good to go. Make sure your handle is able to be in the oven, too (I’ve never messed up this way, but if the handle isn’t metal or cast iron, I won’t put it in the oven).

Once the biscuits are on the top of the filling, pop into the oven for about 25 minutes. The filling underneath will get the dough wet, so it will take a couple more minutes to bake than biscuits on a baking sheet would.

Take it out when it’s done and let it sit for about 10 minutes, particularly if you used a cast iron pan of any kind – they hold heat. Mine was bubbling away quite merrily for at least 5 minutes.

If you make this with a pie crust, set the temperature of the oven to 350F and bake until the crust is golden. The filling is all cooked so you are just cooking the crust.

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