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Little Pots of Love ~ Beef and Mushroom Pot Pies ~

If I had to choose my all-time favorite food, pot pies would definitely be at the top of the list. Hearty, rich, beef and mushroom stew capped with flaky pastry. What could be better than that?

Beef and Mushroom Stew

vegetable oil
1 lb. stewing meat, trimmed of excess fat  and cubed
16 oz. button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups beef stock
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
a splash of Cognac or Brandy
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

prepared pie crust
1 egg beaten with a splash of milk or cream

Prepare pie crust, wrap and keep in fridge until ready to assemble. Preheat oven to 400*F. Heat a little veg oil in a large saucepan. Dry meat with a paper towel, season liberally with sea salt and coarsely ground pepper. Brown meat in batches. Set aside. Brown mushrooms. Add onion to pan. Cook until tender. Add garlic, cook one minute. Add tomato paste, deglaze with a splash of Cognac. Add thyme sprigs, bay leaf, balsamic vinegar and beef stock, reserving 1/3 cup beef stock for later. Bring to a boil, cover and  reduce heat and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, celery and parsnips to pot, cook another 1/2 hour. Remove bay leaves.Whisk cornstarch and reserved beef stock together. Add to stew. Let cook for a few minutes. Add peas to stew. Spray ramekins or pie pan with cooking spray. Spoon stew into prepared ramikins. Top with pie crust, crimping around the edges. Brush egg wash over crust. Cut a few slits in the top of the crust so steam can escape. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tags: Pot Pie, Beef, Main, Pastry

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