Potpies on the wild side
Get your piece of the pie with this classic comfort food gone wild
Potpies always had a place on the dinner table when I was a child. Back then, they were the pre-packaged, frozen pastries found in your grocer's freezer. Now I enjoy tasty homemade versions that have gone over to the wild side, with family favorites like these recipes. — Kris Wetherbee
Rabbit and mushroom potpie
Change up your presentation with a pie pan, casserole dish or individual ramekins, cutting dough to match the size of your baking vessel.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (shiitake, morel or cremini)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- ½ cup diced onions
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
- 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 1½ cups rabbit or chicken stock or broth*
- 2 cups chopped braised or roasted rabbit**
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ⅜ teaspoon black pepper
- packaged, refrigerated or homemade pie dough for two crusts
- an egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
* Add ¼ teaspoon salt if your broth or stock has little to no salt.
** Quail, pheasant, turkey or other game birds can be used as a substitute for rabbit.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, carrots and onions; sauté 4 minutes. Add green onions and celery; sauté 2 minutes. Add wine and mustard; sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Sprinkle with flour; stir well until combined. Add broth; cook, stirring often, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture thickens.
Remove pan from heat; stir in cooked rabbit, peas, thyme, rosemary and black pepper; set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough for the bottom crust and place in the bottom of a 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Sprinkle filling evenly over the bottom pie crust. Roll out the top crust to about 1-inch larger than the pie pan. Place over top of the filling; fold edges under. Cut vents in the top crust and brush with egg yolk mixture. Bake at 400 F for 30 to 40 minutes or until top is golden and filling is bubbly. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings
Venison chili and cornbread pie
Ingredients for filling
- 1 pound ground venison
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
- 1½ cups chopped red potatoes
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Ingredients for sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1½ cups venison or beef stock or broth
Ingredients for cornbread topping
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup yogurt
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons corn oil or olive oil
- ½ cup unbleached flour
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon melted butter
- 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 400 F. To prepare filling, cook ground venison in a nonstick pan over medium heat; remove and set aside. Pre-cook potatoes in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes or blanch in boiling water until barely tender; set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onions, peppers and garlic; sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add kidney beans, corn, chili powder, oregano and cumin; stir well to combine. Stir in red wine and tomato paste; cook 3 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Spoon the filling into an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, or two 9-inch deep dish pie pans.
To prepare the sauce, heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring constantly for a minute or two, until thick and creamy. Slowly add the broth or stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly to make a smooth sauce. Simmer for several minutes until the sauce has thickened. Pour sauce evenly over venison filling; set aside.
To prepare the cornmeal topping, combine cornmeal, both flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, oil, buttermilk and honey; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moist. Spread cornmeal mixture evenly over the venison filling. Bake at 400 F for 10 to 15 minutes; brush the top of the cornbread with melted butter. Bake another 5 minutes or until topping is golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings