The inspiration for this Beef Pot Pie recipe came around St. Patricks Day. I wanted to create a hearty beef recipe, but give it my own "chef's spin". I came up with the fresh take on pot pie, packed with classic flavor, but with a fun twist, which I am sure you will love!
The ingredient list calls for the usual STEW suspects, but I add in a few little shortcuts and additions to changes things ups just a little. To name a few, the use of puff pastry and Irish cheddar cheese are not things you typically see in a pot pie recipe.
I like to use puff pastry in pot pie because it allows me to control the pastry, and ensure it is served crisp. It also ensures that there are no soggy bottoms, and it makes for easy leftovers. The stew and pastry can be kept separate for reheating and best enjoyment.
Making this Beef Pot Pie is easy, and I have tried to simplify it as much as possible hoping this can even be made on a weeknight. Though, note, you do need to let it sit a couple of hours to allow the meat to get really tender.
First, season the beef with salt and pepper. The recipe calls for a generous amount of salt, but this is the only time I season the dish, so I make sure to get it all in on the meat. Once the meat has been seasoned, toss it in a little flour until coated.
Next, heat a large, deep, skillet over medium heat, or a dutch oven. Melt the butter in the bottom of the pan and add ⅓ to ½ of the beef. Sear the beef on at least two sides until crisp and brown. Work in batches until all the beef is browned.
Then add the tomato paste, any remaining flour from seasoning the beef, and the beef to the pan and stir to coat the beef. Add the liquids and bring to a simmer for 1.5-2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender and beginning to fall apart.
While the stew simmers, make the puff pastry topping. Cut sheets of puff pastry in 4, gently dock the pastry by pricking it with a fork, and top with cheddar cheese. Bake until browned and puffed.
Serve the stewed beef mixture in a large bowl topped with a cheesy puff pastry top.
Notes & Tips
If you want to hurry this recipe along, brown the beef in the bottom of an instant pot or electric pressure cooker, and follow the directions until all the liquids are added. Then place the lid on top and cook on Manual, High, Pressure Cook, for 20 minutes, manual release. Then add the onions and repeat, 5 minutes longer. Add the peas and carrots and cook on simmer until they are warmed through.
If you want to leave the meat large and serve this more like a traditional stew, do everything in a dutch oven or cook the meat on the stove till you add the liquids then place in a crockpot. Cook for 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender. Add the onions and cook 1 hour longer. Add the peas and carrots last and just cook till warmed through, about 15 minutes.
If at any time the stew gets too thick or starts to stick to the pan at all, you can add a little more beef stock as needed.
If you need to keep Beef Pot Pie this dairy-free, you can swap the butter for olive oil, and omit the cheese from the puff pastry.
If you can't locate pearl onions, dice a yellow onion, and sautee it in the pan after browning all the beef and adding it back to the pan.
To make the stew gluten-free, replace the ½ cup flour with ¼ cup cornstarch, and serve with your favorite gluten-free bread or cracker on the side to replace the puff pastry.