Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Beef Stew Potpie

If anything can make beef stew warmer, homier, and more satisfying than it already is on a cold winter evening, it’s piecrust. Rich, meaty stew with its traditional companions—potatoes, carrots, onions—makes this simple dish a favorite on the dinner table. Plenty of red wine adds to the splendor—in the stew and in the glass.

Note: Since the cooked ingredients are poured into a piecrust, it’s best to go small. I used tiny “petite,” or baby, potatoes and pearl onions. Yes, you can use larger potatoes and onions and simply chop them to bite-sized pieces, but they may break down a bit more during lengthy cooking—but will still be delicious.

Also note: I like making potpie in a cast-iron skillet. As an alternative, use a lightly oiled 8 X 8-inch baking dish.

Make ahead: You can make the stew a day ahead and refrigerate, covered, overnight. Before adding it to the piecrust, rewarm the stew gently over low heat, adding a little broth to bring it back to a creamy consistency.

For tips on working with pearl onions, see Pan-Roasted Game Hens with Pearl Onions. And for another potpie dish, check out Skillet Chicken Potpie with Fresh Herbs. 

Serves 4-6

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling skillet
  • 1-1/2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • flour, for dredging, plus 1 tbsp
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper   
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped, peeled carrot
  • 2 tsp herbs de Provence (or other dried herb mix)
  • 2-1/2 cups beef broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 oz baby (petite) potatoes, about 1-inch diameter, halved
  • 4 oz pearl onions
  • 1 14.1-oz package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked
Prepared Beef
Beef Stew Ingredients
Prepared Potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven (or deep, ovenproof pan with a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Dredge 1/2 the beef in flour, shaking off excess. Season with salt and pepper and sear until beginning to brown, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat with another 2 tablespoons of oil and remaining beef. Transfer the 2nd batch to the plate.
  3. Add 1/4 cup wine to the pan and cook 1 minute, scraping up brown bits. Add the garlic, chopped onion, carrot, and herbs de Provence and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 3 minutes.
Beginning to Sear 
After Turning
Wine Added
  1. Return the beef to the pan and add the broth and remaining 1/2 cup wine. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Mash together 1 tablespoon flour and the butter in a small bowl. Stir into the beef mixture, cover the pan tightly, and place in the oven. Braise until the beef is fork tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
Vegetable Mixture Added 
Broth Mixture Added
Butter-Flour Mixture Stirred In 
After 1.5 Hours
  1. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until almost tender, 10-12 minutes, depending on size. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and let drain. Do not pour out the water.
  2. Return the water to a simmer and add the pearl onions. Cook 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board with a slotted spoon. Slice off a small part of the root end and remove the skins.
  3. Stir the potatoes and pearl onions into the stew and continue braising 20 minutes. Remove the stew from the oven, uncover, and cool 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
  4. Lightly oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or 8 X 8-inch baking dish) and place 1 piecrust in the bottom, pressing gently against the sides. Pour the stew into the prepared dish.
  5. Top with the remaining piecrust, crimping the edges around the border. Make crisscross cuts in the top crust and brush with egg white.
  6. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Onions and Potatoes Ready for Stew
Onions and Potatoes Added 
Cooked Stew 
Piecrust in the Skillet
Beef Stew Filling 
Ready to Bake
Baked Pie
Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Beef Stew Potpie

1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing! Perfect comfort food for this cold winter we are in the midst of here. Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? :)