I absolutely love pot pies! I grew up eating those delicious frozen ones with chicken, peas and carrots but it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed that creamy filling and crunchy pastry crust. Then the other night, on ABC’s Modern Family, Cameron and Mitchell would not stop discussing the pot pies at their favorite restaurant and I just had to have one! Since the frozen pies of my childhood were beyond fattening, I figured I could just make my own delicious and healthy version. What a treat! I decided to use veal because it’s salty, delicious and extremely healthful, but you can use chicken or turkey as well. Even leftover meat or poultry will be great in this dish.
Veal and Leek Pot Pie Ingredients
makes 8 individual pies or 1 large pie
4-5 leeks, white part only, sliced
1 1/2 lbs ground veal
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
12 whole peppercorns
15-20 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
5-7 large (13.75 oz can) artichoke bottoms, sliced
2 sticks (1 cup) margarine (you can use less)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp cold margarine, cut up
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup soy milk
*you can also use frozen puff pastry, which will be flakier but more fattening than this homemade crust
You are going to use a lot of pots and pans for this recipe so get ready! I began by adding the ground veal, carrots, onions, bay leaf and peppercorns in a large pot with around 2 inches of water. I brought the mixture to a boil then lowered to a simmer for 30 minutes.
While the veal was simmering away, I sautéed the sliced mushrooms in 2 Tbsp of olive oil and when almost done cooking, I added the garlic and artichoke bottoms then continued cooking until the flavors came together. I know some of you might be reluctant to use canned artichokes but I want to assure you that the tangy flavor completely disappears during the cooking process. What your left with is an artichoke that practically tastes fresh out of the steamer. So let me just say that this pot pie would not be the same without the artichoke bottoms so whether you use canned or fresh, I seriously recommend adding them. I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste and set the mushroom mixture aside.
I added the veal stock and soy milk then stirred until smooth and thick, around 5-10 minutes. You don’t have to stir the mixture the whole time it is cooking. Just come back to the pot every few minutes to check on it.
In the meantime, I made the dough for the pot pie crust, which was quicker and easier than defrosting frozen puff pastry. You can use all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat. I mixed all of the ingredients for the crust, formed in to a ball, and rolled out the dough. Instead of covering each individual pot pie with a sheet of crust, I decided to cut out pretty shapes for fun.
Next step was to layer the individual pot pies with all of the delicious vegetables and meat. I began at the bottom with the sauteed leaks. Next the strained ground veal mixture. Then the mushrooms and creamy artichoke. Lastly, I poured a ladle of white sauce over each cup and decorated with the flower-shaped dough.
I brushed the crust with beaten egg yolk and baked until golden brown, 40-45 minutes.
There are seriously no words to describe how tasty this pot pie came out but I’ll try to put some together. I don’t even know where to start! The leeks added incredible texture, the veal was flavorful and salty, and the artichokes were so creamy and wonderful. My favorite part of eating pot pie has always been breaking up the crust and mixing it in with the filling so each bite has some crunch and this whole wheat crust seriously did the trick. Just the right amount of flakiness and crunch to pull the whole dish together. I hope you try this in your own kitchen! Or you can come visit me in my kitchen and I will gladly make it for you.