Pot pie per­fec­tion

Tur­key left­overs can be turned into de­li­cious, creamy pot pie!

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TASTE - By KIM ODE

LEFT­OVER fes­tive tur­key needn’t be an af­ter­thought. In a creamy pot pie, bol­stered with root veg­eta­bles, it might ac­tu­ally taste bet­ter than the orig­i­nal feast.

Now is when the menu changes, when pasta with fresh toma­toes and basil re­tires to also-ran sta­tus, when the prospect of gravy makes our mouth wa­ter.

Foods of fall and win­ter are all about com­fort, about set­tling in, about spend­ing a bit more time in the kitchen be­cause the ten­nis nets at the park have been packed up for the sea­son. It’s time for pot pie.

Time, that is, for re­ally good pot pie – which some peo­ple have never ex­pe­ri­enced, if their ex­pe­ri­ence

Bev’s Crust

This crust is from The New Mid­west­ern Ta­ble by Amy Thie­len. You’ll need only half for six in­di­vid­ual pot pies, so freeze the re­main­ing dough for a sin­gle-crust pie, or fu­ture pot pies. (The recipe also makes a 23cm to 25cm dou­ble-crust pie of any kind.) Pot pies may be as­sem­bled four hours in ad­vance. Cover and re­frig­er­ate un­til it’s time to bake. is lim­ited to gro­cery store freezer cases. Con­ve­nience is a con­tem­po­rary ar­gu­ment, but there’s a tip­ping point be­tween sav­ing time and hav­ing a de­cent meal.

We’ve tipped in favour of mak­ing home­made pot pie, with a crust that’s both flaky and flex­i­ble, and a fill­ing that you can cus­tomise to your heart’s con­tent as long as you hon­our the fi­nal pro­por­tions.

Tur­key is our pro­tein of choice,

Makes enough for 6 in­di­vid­ual pot pies 2½ cups flour 1 tsp salt 1 cup (250g) un­salted but­ter, cold, cut in 16 pieces 1 egg yolk Gen­er­ous ½ cup milk, or more if needed

In a large bowl, whisk to­gether the flour and salt. With a pas­try blender, cut the but­ter into the flour un­til the larger re­main­ing chunks are the size of small peas.

Drop the egg yolk into a liq­uid mea­sur­ing cup and add milk un­til you reach ex­actly 2/3 cup (you’ll use about ½ cup plus 1 ta­ble­spoon). Mix the egg yolk and milk with a fork un­til com­bined, then add it to the flour mix­ture all at once. Mix the dough with a fork un­til you can gather most of it into a ball. This is most eas­ily done in the bowl; if it seems any drier or more dif­fi­cult than that, add another ta­ble­spoon of milk.

Di­vide the dough in half and pat each half be­cause such left­overs are on the hori­zon. But with half-breasts more avail­able, you can roast just enough tur­key within an hour to make six pies. Swap in chicken, or go veg­e­tar­ian with more of the pot-pie trin­ity: pota­toes, car­rots and peas. Ex­per­i­ment with other veg­eta­bles, such as turnips, rutabaga, pearl onions, mush­rooms, sweet pota­toes, corn or pep­pers.

We favour the clas­sic trio, but into a 2.5cm-thick disk. Wrap each disk in plas­tic wrap and chill in the re­frig­er­a­tor for at least one hour and as long as two days. Let dough come to room tem­per­a­ture for 30 min­utes be­fore rolling it.

Tur­key Pot Pie Fill­ing

Makes enough for 6 in­di­vid­ual pot pies

A roasted half-breast makes three to four cups of diced tur­key. You can sub­sti­tute with chicken, or use more veg­eta­bles, just Glaze 1 egg yolk 2 tsp heavy cream ½ tsp pa­prika add a twist and some tex­ture with crum­bled ba­con.

We won’t lie: Pot pies from start to fin­ish take a lit­tle time. The pas­try comes to­gether quickly, but must rest in the re­frig­er­a­tor for an hour.

The veg­eta­bles need to be par­cooked for a few min­utes to make sure they’ll cook through in the oven. The gravy is best when you give the onions at least 15 min­utes mak­ing sure your to­tal in­gre­di­ents add up to six to seven cups. The ba­con is op­tional, but a nice touch. 3 to 4 cups diced tur­key, from left­over tur­key or roasted half-breast Veg­etable oil 2 slices ba­con (not thick-cut) ½ cup (125g) un­salted but­ter 1½ cup finely chopped yel­low onion 4 cups chicken or tur­key stock 1 cup small red pota­toes, cut into 2cm cubes 1 cup car­rot, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes ½ cup flour 1 ½ tsp salt Freshly ground pep­per ¼ cup heavy cream 1 cup frozen peas ½ cup chopped pars­ley leaves

To pre­pare fill­ing: If you’re roast­ing a half-breast of tur­key, pre­heat oven to 170°C. Lightly rub tur­key with oil and roast in shal­low pan un­til tem­per­a­ture probe reg­is­ters 76°C, 50-60 min­utes. When cool enough to han­dle, re­move meat from bones and cut into 2cm cubes. If not us­ing im­me­di­ately, keep re­frig­er­ated.

Cook ba­con, if us­ing, un­til crisp. Re­move to pa­per tow­els to cool, then crum­ble.

In a large saucepan, melt but­ter, then add onion and sauté over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til soft and translu­cent.

While the onions are cook­ing, heat the stock to just boil­ing. Add pota­toes and car­rots to the stock and cook for two to three min­utes, un­til slightly ten­der. Turn off heat. With a slot­ted spoon, re­move veg­eta­bles to a bowl and set aside.

To the soft­ened onions, add flour and cook, stir­ring con­stantly, for two min­utes.

Add the hot stock to the onions and sim­mer un­til thick, stir­ring con­stantly, about one minute.

Stir in salt, pep­per and ¼ cup heavy cream. Add tur­key, pota­toes, car­rots, peas and pars­ley, stir­ring to mix well. Check for to melt into savoury good­ness.

If you’re tempted to skip the egg glaze, don’t. It lends the pas­try a lus­cious golden crackle, but also is oddly af­firm­ing. Tak­ing the time to paint the whole sur­face of the pas­try with care, in­stead of a slap­dash splash across the top, is what cook­ing with love is all about.

Since you’ve come this far, cut a few leaf shapes from the dough scraps to make your pies even more ap­petis­ing. Paint­ing the leaves with a bit of pa­prika-tinted egg yolk takes about as long as read­ing this story, and guar­an­tees an “ooh-ahh” re­ac­tion at the ta­ble that makes ev­ery minute worth­while.

And this is be­fore your din­ers have even taken a bite! – Star Tri­bune/McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices proper sea­son­ing. Re­move from heat.

To pre­pare glaze: In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with two tea­spoons cream. Set aside.

To as­sem­ble pot pies: Di­vide the fill­ing among six 250ml oven­proof ramekins or straight-sided dishes no more than 10cm wide. Di­vide crum­bled ba­con among the pies. (If there’s any left­over fill­ing, serve it on toast!)

Re­move crust dough from plas­tic wrap (re­mem­ber: you took it out of the re­frig­er­a­tor 30 min­utes ago), and place on lightly floured sur­face. Roll dough into a 25cm by 40cm rect­an­gle. With a knife or pizza cut­ter, cut six 13cm squares. (You can use the re­main­ing pas­try to make dec­o­ra­tive leaves.)

With a small brush or your fin­ger, brush the rim of each bowl with beaten egg yolk, then drape pas­try over the fill­ing, press­ing gen­tly on rim to seal.

Brush the en­tire sur­face of pas­try with egg glaze.

With a sharp par­ing knife, cut small leaf shapes from the re­main­ing dough, us­ing the blade to press “veins” into the sur­face. Ar­range two or three leaves on each pie. Stir pa­prika into the re­main­ing egg glaze, then paint the leaves with this tinted mix­ture.

To bake: Pre­heat oven to 180°C. Place pies on a rimmed bak­ing sheet; this will catch any pos­si­ble drips. Bake in oven for 30 to 40 min­utes, or un­til the tops are golden and the fill­ing is bub­bling hot.

Com­fort­ing: In a creamy pot pie, roast tur­key might ac­tu­ally taste bet­ter.

as­sem­bling the pie is sim­ple: fill the ramekin and cover with dough.

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