Recipe Review: Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie

Beef and Mushroom Pot Pies

I like this recipe. I am always on the look-out for new pot pie recipes. Some work, some do not work, and this one worked just fine. Historically, I have disliked “Taste of Home” main meal recipes because they, in my opinion, tend to involve opening a couple of cans of this and that, stirring, and heating at 375° F for twenty minutes for something rather fattening, salty, and unappetizing. Perhaps this is unfair. I do prefer to use fresh ingredients from local farmers so that my money supports the families I run into at the public library or a community event instead of the money disappearing into an anonymous, international food processor.

This pot pie recipe is very filling. It would be ideal on a winter, or dreary spring or autumn evening. I could envision reheating a ramekin after shoveling the driveway.

The pot pie recipe was easy to put together. Preparation time was exactly 40 minutes like the recipe says. The needed ingredients were accessible if not already in the kitchen. I did purchase the prepared beef gravy, sour cream, fresh mushrooms, a baking potato and tube of refrigerated crescent rolls.

The recipe starts off by calling for boiling the cut-up potato in a microwave. I boiled the potato on the stove-top because I do not have a microwave. I used 1-lb ground beef instead of the called-for 1-lb beef top sirloin steak cut into 1/4 inch pieces. It has been my experience steak cuts cooked in small pieces turn out tough unless you marinate them overnight, and even then they are chewy. After cooking the ground beef, I sauteed the vegetables. I used a large, white onion instead of the red onion. White onions are not as bitter, I think, as most red onions you find in a store. I did not use ketchup. I do not keep ketchup on hand. Ketchup is high in sugar, and if it is necessary I will substitute organic tomato sauce.

While the vegetables cooked, I prepared the refrigerated crescent rolls. I was very tempted to purchase two tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls. I did not see how one tube could adequately supply the 16 slices without squishing the slices. As seen in the picture, the thin slices expanded and worked okay. In my opinion one can never prepare enough refrigerated crescent rolls, so the next time I will go ahead and spend the money and use two tubes with 8 slices from each. Or, you could cut sixteen slices from each tube and have a flower pattern. The exposed meat and gravy is almost unappetizing looking so the larger or more slices of crescent roll dough cooked golden brown will add to the eye appeal of the finished dish.

Using the ramekins or individual casserole dishes is an excellent idea. They are easy to transport and re-heat. I only have two 16-oz round dishes, so I used the 2-cup square dishes, too. The round ramekins are available at Pier One Imports or you can go on-line to QVC and purchase there. Department stores sometimes also carry ramekins.

When baking, make sure to have a tray under the dishes. They will be full enough they will boil over.

I have been thinking of ways to add one more cup of frozen vegetables to the recipe. One ramekin, in theory, has cup potatoes, ¼ a large onion, ½ cup sliced mushrooms, ¼ cup carrots, and ¼ cup peas. In my mind this equates to about one serving of vegetables. Each ramekin also contains ¼ cup sour cream, 1/4 ground black pepper, 1/4 tablespoon cornstarch and ¼ cup store-bought, low sodium beef gravy. The ramekins are boiling over already so I do not there is enough space to add another 8-oz vegetables to each ramekin to reach the recommended 2 cups per meal.

In order to obtain the suggested two servings vegetables per meal, you should prepare a salad, or as “Taste of Home” suggests, serve with assorted fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, and radishes.

Recipe Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie by Macey Allen (Green Forest, Arkansas), published in “Taste of Home” February/March 2012 issue.

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