Beef Pie!

I once made a pecan pie for a family function. Unfortunately, frozen pie crusts come in packages of two, so the poor “extra” crust sat in the freezer for a couple of months being all lonely. One night I came home late from work too tired to cook anything, yet not in the mood for one of the few food items left in my pantry – a big can of beef stew. I suddenly remembered the frozen pie crust and in a flash a quick and easy beef pie was born. This is one hell of a starter recipe – once you get the basics of what’s going on here, you can expand it by making your own pie crust or your own filling mixture from scratch – why not try it using my Guinness Stew as a filling? You can play around with the filling ingredients and make it as simple or as complex as you want it to be. If you’re not really comfortable in the kitchen, try making this dish directly as shown below, then make it again one day and have fun with the filling ingredients!

Bottom Crust Ingredients:

1 frozen pie crust

Top Crust Ingredients:

1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
½ cup milk
1 egg

Filling Ingredients:

1 large (28oz. or larger) can beef stew
1 small or medium chopped onion (optional)
1 splash red wine (optional)
Pepper (to taste)

Hardware:

1 fork
1 can opener
1 cutting board (optional)
1 knife (optional)
1 bowl (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.

2) Open frozen pie crust and pierce a few times with fork.

3) Open the can of beef stew. You can pour it directly into the pie crust if you like, or you can improve the flavor by pouring the stew into a bowl and adding chopped onion, a splash of red wine and\or some other fresh vegetables and\or spices. Try not to add any salt though – the canned beef stew will have plenty already! Whatever you do, have fun with it! When done, pour into pie crust.

4) Pour top crust ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Pour crust mixture over the beef stew.

5) Place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and delicious.

This is one recipe that can be tweaked to hell and back. If you don’t have a spare pie crust, just use a glass 8×8″ baking dish instead. If you don’t eat red meat, you can easily substitute your favorite chicken or seafood or veggie soup instead. To do this, first you have to figure out how “thick” your soup is. If it’s thick like a “stew” or “chowder”, you probably don’t need to do anything – just dump the can into the pie crust or glass dish and add the “Top Crust” following the directions above. If the soup is thin – like say, Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup – you’ll need to thicken it up by making a roux.

To do this, first put the soup in a pot and put over medium heat. Then take a saucepan and melt some butter over medium-low heat. When it’s completely melted, add an equal amount of flour all at once to the butter. If you see any lumps, stir them out using a wire whisk; otherwise just stir the mixture using a wooden spoon. For 30 ounces of soup (two of the larger cans), you will typically need around 3 tablespoons each of flour and butter. Keep stirring the mixture; when it changes to a nice blonde color it’s ready to be added to chicken soup; you might want to let the roux get a bit darker if you’re using a “dark” (beef-based) soup. Add the roux using a wire whisk and stir gently. Let cook for a couple of minutes until the soup starts to thicken up as you’d see in a pot pie, then pour it (carefully!) it to the pie crust or baking dish. Be sure to reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes if you do this, as the hot soup will make the top crust cook faster.

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