Although you might think of pot pies as a quick meal that you can throw in the oven at the eleventh hour, they have a long history that dates to the time of the Roman Empire. The nursery rhyme “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie“, which you may have heard, is based on reality!
Some of the earliest pot pies were made with live birds inside that would flutter out when cut when they were created under the Roman Empire.
The Pot Pie’s Brief History
In the 16th century, pot pies gained appeal in Britain. During the rule of Elizabeth I, fillings including venison, hog, lamb and some other game were widespread, but birds finally took over. Pot pies were skillfully cooked, ornamented and fed at banquets during Elizabethan times, showcasing the cooks’ skill. The lower class frequently prepared simpler versions because the materials were easy to find and the crust gave a meal more weight.
Pot pies gained popularity as settlers migrated westward across America. The first cookbook written in America, named “American Cookery“, was published in 1796. The sea pie, chicken pie and stew pie recipes in this cookbook are all variants of pot pies.
Pot pie then kept evolving into the dish it is today after making its debut in an American cookbook. In the 1950s, pot pies spread across freezer shelves across the nation and became a staple of American households. After the war, frozen meals became more popular and pot pies have been no exception. Some of the major frozen food companies that sell pot pies are Marie Callender’s, Stouffer’s and Morton.
Pot Pies Are Back in Restaurants and Supermarket Freezers
Moreover, pot pies have recently returned to restaurants. Chefs have begun to develop their own modern variations on pot pies. Some have evolved into biscuit-topped savory cobblers. Some employ a phyllo crust or other fillings. Even though these are intriguing viewpoints, there’s something particularly heartwarming about a traditional pot pie.
The most renowned pot pies are chefs’ interpretations of the traditional American dish. For roasted vegetable pot pie and rosemary chicken pot pie, the majority of eateries stick with a normal, very flaky crust.
- Dark and white meat chicken, peas, potatoes, celery, onions and carrots are all mixed together in a rosemary gravy to make a rosemary chicken pot pie.
- In a rosemary mushroom gravy, mushrooms, roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli are added to the usual veggie pot pie filling of peas, potatoes, celery, onions and carrots.
The latter of these two pot pies will suit all those who got accustomed to vegan food for either medical reasons or their free will to order organic vegetables and fruits on Dinnerly’s special-occasion menu, which offers a balanced selection of dishes that are both American classics and globally inspired. If you’re a hard meat lover, the first of these pot pies is perfect for you. And not only that particular pot pie but also another one about whom we’ll talk in a minute.
With either of these scrumptious options, whether you choose the family or personal size which you bought frozen in supermarkets, you can’t go wrong! By baking directly from the freezer, you may take advantage of the convenience of handmade food. When you use one, your dining table will undoubtedly become more interesting (but the live birds are regrettably not included).
Apart from well-known roasted vegetable pot pie and rosemary chicken pot pie, there’s one more variant of a pot pie that has been unjustifiably neglected and is perhaps even tastier than the two mentioned: the pepper steak pinwheel pot pie. This is how to make it…
The Ingredients for a Pepper Steak Pinwheel Pot Pie
- 2 tbs black peppercorns
- ½ cup cake flour
- 1.5kg beef shin (bone-in)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbs oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 4 tbs tomato chili jam (or sweet chili sauce)
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 4 cups water
- 2 beef stock pots
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 roll (400g) of ready-rolled puff pastry
Use a pestle and mortar to pound the peppercorns (or a coffee or spice grinder); you want them to be coarsely ground—not too fine, but also without large pieces.
Combine the flour, salt and peppercorn powder.
The meat should be coated with 2 tablespoons of seasoned flour, then browned (in batches) in heated oil in a pot with high heat. Set aside after browning.
More oil should be added to the saucepan before the onions, carrots, garlic and thyme leaves are added. The vegetables should be cooked over low heat until they soften and start to brown.
Then, add the remaining flour that has been spiced to the veggies, stir to combine and toast the flour for 2 minutes.
Stir thoroughly to remove any particles from the bottom of the saucepan before adding the tomato paste, stock cubes, two tablespoons of tomato chili jam and water. Bring to a boil, add the browned meat back to the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and cook the beef for two hours, or until it is soft. The stew could alternatively be prepared in a preheated oven at 160°C.
When the flesh is ready, take out the bones and discard them before scooping out all the marrow and adding it to the sauce.
If you want, you can slightly cut the meat into pieces to make serving easier. While you make the topping, set it aside to cool.
The leftover 2 tablespoons of tomato chili jam should be placed on top of the cream cheese that has been spread over the puff pastry. Slice into 12 pieces after rolling into a log.
After placing the pastry slices on top of the chilled meat filling, brush them with beaten egg.
For 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and puffy, bake in an oven warmed to 180°C.