I can’t think of any dish more appropriately labeled “comfort food” than Beef Pot Pie. Truly excellent pot pies are hard to come by but this method will deliver the most tender and deeply flavored beef pie recipe you’ve ever made. The filling is braised in the oven until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender, then topped with pie crust dough and returned to the oven. This finishes into one special dish that will have everyone saying “yu-um” with every bite.
Beef Pot Pie takes a bit of time, but is easy and not entirely hands-on. It is, however, quicker than many other pot pie recipes I’ve tried, and the ingredients in this dish come together for a complex, satisfying flavor.
I highly recommend you read through the entire recipe before starting (a step we should do with every recipe, actually), then begin by having all your ingredients chopped and ready to go. In a Dutch-oven, browning just half of the beef before stewing imparts the rich, deep flavor of searing without overcrowding the pan and having to do two batches. The juices from the browned portion of the roast will help flavor your vegetables in the initial saute’ and the remaining meat will release flavorful juices in the oven.
Browning the vegetables makes a nice carmelization for added flavor, cooking until soft. Key ingredients are then added for the most flavorful pot pie in case I’ve failed to mention that this recipe is “flavorful” – tomato paste, garlic and red wine (the wine can be substituted for water, if need be). Then add good-quality beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire and bay leaf.
Finally, add all the beef into the mix and bake this filling in the oven for about an hour and a half or until the meat is tender.
After oven-braising the filling, remove to bowl. Then add a bit of water to your Dutch-oven and scrape off some of the fond that accumulated on the side of the pan. Add this complex, flavorful juice to your meat filling for optimal flavor and extra moisture.
Now we’re ready to put everything together for this “bring on the cold weather” juicy pot pie. But first let me talk to you about your pie crust. As many of you know, I am a true make-it-all-from-scratch kind of woman. But from time to time, I’ve used freezer pie crusts and have had successful results with them. Just do what’s easy for you.
Here it is fresh out of the oven, you just know it’s going to be good. Really good! This Beef Pot Pie is going to be served around here quite often and I hope you’ll also give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. The recipe yields 6 servings, but everyone will want seconds so be prepared. Seldom will you have leftovers, but if you do, this recipe is delightful the next day and even more so the day after that.
Beef Pot Pie
- 2 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil, divided
- 4 ounces mushrooms, baby bellas also called creminis or white button if unavailable, trimmed and quartered
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine, or 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 9-inch store-bought pie dough round or your own made-from-scratch pie crust
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350F degrees. Pat beef cubes dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook until well browned all over, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer the beef to bowl or plate with the remaining uncooked beef. Note: you will not cook the remaining beef before placing in the pot pie. Cooking half the beef imparts some good flavor from braising but saves time not requiring all the beef to be browned before placing in the pie. It works, I promise.
- Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to now-empty pot. Add mushrooms, onion, and carrots and cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in wine (or water) and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour until the vegetables are well coated and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and bay leaf, stirring until combined. Scrape any bits that have stuck to bottom of pan to incorporate into liquids. Add beef and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
- Remove filling from oven and taste the beef to make sure it's tender to your liking. If it tastes chewy, add 1/4 cup water, stir and return to oven for another 20-30 minutes. Once meat is tender, remove and then increase oven temperature to 400F degrees. If the meat mixture looks to need more "juice", then remove mixture from pot to a plate and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water back to the Dutch oven and kind of tilt the pan to scrape off some of the crusty fond that's accumulated in the pot. This should create a thick meaty sauce to add into the meat mixture and thin it out a bit, plus it only adds to the flavor of the beef.
- Discard the bay leaf and stir in the fresh thyme and add the peas. Taste the filling and add salt and pepper to taste at this time (up to 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
- Spray the bottom of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and add meat mixture to the dish.
- Brush the rim and interior lip of the pie plate with egg (this will prevent the shell from sticking to the dish and cracking or breaking). Top the filling with pie dough so dough overhangs edges of pie plate only slightly. Fold overhanging pie down inward so folded edge is flush with inner edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers.
- Using a paring knife, cut a 1/2-inch hole in center of pie. Cut six 1/2-inch slits around the hole, halfway between center and edge of pie. Brush dough with remaining egg. Season the top of the dough with salt, pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme. Transfer pie to rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.
- Transfer pie to cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.
Recipe tested, changed and adapted from Cook’s Country.