Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week 20: Italian Pot Pie

The Recipe
Meat Sauce
1 lb ground beef
2-3 carrots
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
chili flakes (optional)
2 cups of your favourite tomato sauce (homemade or from a jar - doesn't matter - but remember that the better the sauce, the better your dish)

Biscuit topping
1 cup flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup grated parm or similar
1/4 tsp herbs (e.g. thyme, oregano, rosemary)
dash of salt
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 225C.

Finely chop onion and carrots. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet, add vegetables, season with salt and pepper and let them cook until tender, 5-10 minutes. Add ground beef, garlic and chili flakes. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Add tomato sauce. Bring the vegetable/sauce/meat mixture to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and let to go for 8-10 minutes until it's thickened a bit. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile mix together the dry ingredients for your biscuit topping. Make a well in the middle of your mix and pour in the butter and milk. Stir the whole thing up until it comes together as a dough.

Season your stew according to taste and add any additional vegetables you feel like - corn, bell pepper, whatever. Spoon the meat sauce into four oven proof bowls (at least 8oz each or it won't fit). Put the bowls on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil for easy cleanup in case of spills. Use a spoon to dop your topping dough over the stews. There might be gaps where you can see the stew through the topping - that's fine. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

The Verdict
I think just possibly I didn't leave it long enough in the oven - the dough still seemed rather doughy and not at all as crisp and puffy as I would have expected. It tasted great though, and as I have leftovers, it'll be interesting to see what they're like after a second round in the oven.

The recipe above serves 3 generously.

ETA: Okay, the results are in, I definitely hadn't left it in the oven for long enough. I gave the left-overs another 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven, and they're so much better and crispier now! Still didn't rise all that much, but I expect that's because of the weird double heating.

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