Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Individual pot pies, inspired by Jamie Oliver

As with my chocolate cupcake recipe last month, I have posted about these pies previously. However, the post in question was one of my earliest and the pictures (and words...) now seem a bit lacking. Plus, I have refined things slightly since then. Plus, the pot pies are a good match for winter weather. All in all, it seemed appropriate to revisit them now.


The pies were originally inspired by Jamie Oliver's chicken and mushroom filo pies, which featured on his 30 Minute Meals show early last year. I was taken by the concept of individual pies, and of having just the top covered in pastry. Not being a bit pastry fan myself, and indeed not liking traditional pies much (meat or otherwise), this method of pie preparation appealed to me.

It's also a lot easier than making a traditional pie, and you can make things even easier by using store bought pastry. If you take that route, as I do, then these are quite an easy meal to create and they definitely reward the effort put in.

Our default when these are on the menu is to have a chicken and potato version for Mr Bite and a vegetable version for myself. You may prefer to make one variety but adjust the seasonings to individual tastes, or to omit certain ingredients for fussy eaters. If you live in a helpful household, you may just make everyone's pie the same. They are easily adaptable and your imagination is really the only limit.


There is something about these that makes dinner feel very British. I think it would be fitting to eat them in a pub in front of an open fire, beer to hand, perhaps with plans for a brisk walk home afterwards.


Given that I'm in Australia, I have no open fire, and I don't drink beer - well, we tend to eat them in a slightly less British way. They're still enjoyable though. They probably work in other countries too, although for those of you in the Northern hemisphere, I would recommend waiting until winter!



Individual ramekin pot pies
(vegetarian and chicken-potato)

Inspired by Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals chicken and mushroom filo pies.

The vegetarian pie is vegan if made as below, but the ingredients are easily customisable to taste and dietary requirements.

Makes 2 pies in total with enough leftover puff pastry to make a small jam tart if desired.


Individual vegetarian pot pie (serves 1)
Ingredients
~1/3 sheet Pampas puff pastry (or puff pastry of choice; Pampas is a vegan-friendly brand)
3/4 cup pumpkin, cubed
1/2 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 cup green beans, chopped
1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp plain flour
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried bsil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 200'C and remove one sheet of puff pastry from the freezer.

Add the pumpkin and carrot to a steamer and steam for ~10 - 15 minutes, until just tender. Add mushrooms towards the end. 

Meanwhile, saute the onion in a medium non-stick pan in 1/4 cup of the stock. Cook until just golden (~2 minutes). 

When ready, add the pumpkin, carrot and mushroom mix to the non-stick pan, along with the other 1/4 cup stock, flour and seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer ~5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer pie filling to an individual ramekin. Cut about one-third of the puff pastry sheet and lay it across the top of the pie filling. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry top is golden.


Individual chicken and potato pot pie (serves 1)
Ingredients
~1/3 sheet Pampas puff pastry (or puff pastry of choice)
1 skinless chicken breast (~150g), diced
1/2 onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp milk
1 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 200'C and remove one sheet of puff pastry from the freezer.

Bring water to the boil in a medium saucepan, add the potato and carrot, and simmer until just soft - about 10 - 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, saute the onion in a medium non-stick pan in the oil. Cook until just golden (~2 minutes) and then add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned (~10 minutes).

When ready, add the potato and carrot to the non-stick pan, along with the stock,  flour, milk and seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer ~10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Transfer pie filling to an individual ramekin. Cut about one-third of the puff pastry sheet and lay it across the top of the pie filling. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry top is golden.


I usually use the leftover pastry to make a small jam tart, quite literally just with jam and some diced apple. An alternative would be to add more pastry to the top of each pie, or save it for another time.

This is a meal where we are both left very satisfied, very warm, and with slightly burnt tongues due to lack of patience in waiting for the fillings to cool. A good outcome, I think!

Do you enjoy pastry products? Or make pies of any nature yourself?

21 comments:

  1. Your pot pies look great, I can't believe how full they are! I love puff pastry as an easy weeknight option but have been enjoying making my own pastry recently when I have the time.

    I like to repost things from my early blogging days too as there are some recipes that I don't feel I did justice in words or pictures or the recipe has changed significantly over time.

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    1. I do tend to over-fill them a bit in truth...sometimes it is a challenge to get the pastry tops on!

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  2. I know which pie I would prefer! I don't do these sort of pies very often - actually could count them on one hand - but I have done this style of pie with a recipe a friend of mine made veg by substituting tempeh for chicken and it is quite meaty in a satisfying way. Am glad you have made the suggestion as I have bought puff pastry for sausage rolls and am sure I will have leftover puff pastry. (I made barley soup with beans this week so that suggestion was very welcome too)

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    1. Tempeh (or tofu) fillings would be an interesting option and one I do keep meaning to try out. I seem to find them enough just with vegetables but a spicy tempeh version would be enjoyable too I think. And I'm glad I'm giving you useful ideas - pleased to hear the soup with barley and beans went well too!

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  3. These look amazing Kari! I went to a bible study the other night and she made us chicken pot pies! They weren't as healthy as this, but it sure was good. I love that you can load it up with veggies and then bake them right up. :)
    I love to make pies, but I love to make cheesecakes even more. :)

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    1. I definitely prefer desserts to pies too, believe me :) But there are benefits of veggies and this is an easy way to get them in!

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  4. What lovely looking pies and so perfect for this cold weather. I have never managed to make any of Jamie's 30 minutes meals in 30 minutes - I'd have to be on speed! xx

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    1. I don't manage them in 30 minutes either, believe me. I don't know how he does it!

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  5. i LOVE pop pies!!! but can i tell that the real reason i do i think is cuz of the crust!! oh man, pastry crust i am in love with...on these babies and on pies i always save the crust for last!! :) yummy!!

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    Replies
    1. Teehee, we are different in that regard :) I am definitely all about the filling!

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  6. Haha! Loved the comments about the helpful household! We always had to eat the same dinner at home; no whims catered for :P

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    1. Your mother was (is) a sensible woman :)

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  7. I love your description of eating these pot pies in a British pub, with a fire and a beer and a brisk walk home. It reminds me of my trip to Manchester a few years ago, where on the first night I had a veggie pot pie in a pub with lots of dark wood (but no fire place) and a beer, and a brisk walk home! I really love the idea of these, but I think our ramekins are far too small for our greedy-gutses.

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    1. Oh how funny - sounds like a delightful Manchester evening and clearly my imagination was doing something vaguely accurate for once!

      You may notice that these ramekins are filled as full as they can go. What I didn't picture, but which does quite often happen, is that sometimes extra filling goes on the plate as a side to the pie, because it doesn't all fit within!

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  8. I make a "meat and five veg" for my kids - it's one of their most requested meals ;)

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    1. They know what's good for them :)

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  9. Ooh, I love Jamie Oliver..or perhaps I love his accent? ;)
    I would totally be satisfied with the veg option. I'm the pumpkin queen! However, it will leave the hubby very very sad...So I'll probably make the chicken pot pie first. Note: I may sound very considerate and subservient..But don't be fooled! I just don't want to hear him complain or have to make him something an hour after.

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    1. Ahaha, you're speaking to someone who makes both versions, so I most certainly won't judge you for catering to his tastes! It is quite easy to make the two varieties so if you ever want to cater to your tastes as well as his, I can recommend doing both :)

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  10. Theswe pies look terrific! I adore pastry and pies - probably much to my detriment :(

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