Author and savoury pie expert Ken Haedrich takes you on a global tour of dinner pies from food cultures across the world.
Dinner pies have become a favourite go-to for one-dish recipes. Perfect your own crust or, dare we say, buy a pre-made crust and the variations are endless. Learn how to make Classic Americana Chicken Pot Pie, British Steak and Ale Pies, Swedish Meat Pies, Italian Easter Pie, and many more crust and no-crust versions of one of the world’s most prolific go-to dinners. Recipes for a range of crusts and make-ahead ideas are included along with how to use the almighty leftover to create pie masterpieces that are all your own!
With 75 recipes and amazing four-color photography, this is both a cookbook and an around-the-world tour of culinary traditions that can be incorporated into your own home kitchen weekly menu. Great for parties, families, Sunday night dinners, neighborly welcomes, holidays, and any-old-night-of-the-week dinners, and breakfasts and lunches—Savory Pies from Around the Globe offer something for every kitchen.
Chicken Pot Pie with Winter Vegetables
Brussels sprouts may be the most underrated vegetable going, and if you agree then you’re probably going to love this version of chicken pot pie. Another twist: Instead of the usual carrots, I use chunks of winter squash. The squash cooks up softer than carrots do, but I think it has all the sweetness and at least as much flavor, so it’s a good trade. Mashing the potato and adding it back to the filling makes for a nice thick sauce, delicately flavored with a touch of mustard and thyme. A perfect dinner pie for those coldest of winter days.
Makes 6 servings
1 recipe Go-To Pie Dough (below), refrigerated
4 cups chicken broth
1½ cups peeled and diced baking potato
1½ cups quartered Brussels sprouts
1 cup peeled and diced winter squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- If you haven’t already, prepare the pastry and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours.
- Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the potato and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato to a mixing bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the broth and mash with a large fork or masher. Set aside.
- Bring the liquid back to a very low boil and add the Brussels sprouts. Simmer for 1½ minutes. Add the squash and cook for 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the mashed potatoes. (NOTE: The vegetables won’t be tender, just par-cooked.) Reserve the broth.
White Meat or dark?
Every ad I see for chicken pot pie makes a big deal of the fact that their pie uses only white meat chicken. What’s up with that? White meat—breast meat—chicken is great and all, but personally I think the dark meat is more tender and has a better chicken flavor. So I use both in my pot pies. Yes, it’s true that dark meat has more fat and calories than white, but the difference is negligible and certainly not enough to worry about unless you’re eating legs, wings, and thighs by the bucketful.
GO-TO PIE DOUGH
It’s no mystery why I call this my “go-to” dough: It’s so versatile that I use it for perhaps four out of every five of the savory (and sweet) pies that I make. You can’t beat it for reliability, and it bakes up to a beautiful texture, perfectly balanced between flaky and short. This is the single crust recipe; the double crust version follows. The recipe calls for a food processor; to make the dough by hand, see the Note.
Makes enough for 1 (9½-inch) pie or tart shell
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (or 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter), cut into ½-inch cubes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
Scant 1⁄3 cup cold water
- Put the butter and shortening cubes in a single layer on a flour-dusted plate, with the shortening off to one side of the plate by itself. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl and refrigerate that mixture also. Pour the vinegar into a 1-cup glass measure. Add enough cold water to equal 1⁄3 cup liquid. Refrigerate.
- 2 When you’re ready to mix the pastry, transfer the flour mixture to a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter about 6 tablespoons of the butter—a little more than half of the total fat—over the dry mixture. Pulse the machine five times—that’s five 1-second pulses—followed by an uninterrupted 5-second run. Remove the lid and add the remaining fat. Give the machine six or seven 1-second pulses.
- Remove the lid and loosen the mixture with a big fork; you’ll have a range of fat clods, most quite small but a few larger ones as well. With the lid off, drizzle about half of the liquid over the mixture. Replace the lid and give the machine three very quick, half-second pulses. Remove the lid, loosen the mixture with your fork, and add the rest of the liquid. Pulse briefly three or four times, just like before. The mixture will still look crumbly, but the crumbs will be starting to get a little clumpier.
- Transfer the contents of your processor to a large bowl, one large enough to get your hands in. Start rubbing the crumbs together, as if you were making a streusel topping—what you’re doing is redistributing the butter and moisture without overworking the dough. (NOTE: If your dough mixture came out of the food processor more clumpy than crumb-like, don’t worry. Just pack it together like a snowball, knead it very gently two or three times, and proceed to step 5.) You can accomplish the same thing by “smearing” the crumbs down the sides of the bowl with your fingers. When the dough starts to gather in large clumps, pack it like a snowball and knead gently, three or four times, on a lightly floured surface.
- Put the dough on a long piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 11⁄2 to 2 hours; overnight is fine. (You can also slip the wrapped dough into a gallon-size plastic freezer bag and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)
NOTE: To make the dough by hand, chill all of your ingredients as specified in step 1, but increase the flour to 1½ cups plus 1½ tablespoons. Remove the butter and shortening from the refrigerator 5 to 8 minutes before mixing; it should have a little “give” to it when squeezed between your fingers. Add about 6 tablespoons of the butter to your dry mixture; toss to coat with flour. Using your pastry blender, cut in the butter until the largest pieces of fat are pea-size. Add the remaining fat, toss to coat, and cut that in. The entire mixture should look like it has been “touched” by the fat, and nothing should be larger than pea-size. Pour half of your liquid down around the sides of the bowl, but not in any one spot. Mix well with a large fork, moving the mixture in from the sides and up from the bottom. Repeat with the remaining liquid, but add the last few teaspoons only if needed. Rub and smear the crumbs as specified in step 4 until a dough starts to form. Pack the dough and knead gently a couple of times. Flatten into a disk, then wrap and refrigerate.
Recipe for success
In case you’re wondering why there’s vinegar here and in some of the other pastry recipes, it’s because vinegar is an acid, and acids tenderize things made with wheat flour. That’s why sour cream pancakes and buttermilk biscuits have that melt-in-your-mouth softness. Don’t worry: You won’t taste the vinegar in the finished crust.
Recipe reprinted with permission from © 2021 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.