Most weeks, I sit down on Saturday or Sunday to come up with the following week’s menu. I look through my list of recipe ideas and everything I’ve bookmarked or Pinned. I consider what’s in season and what main ingredients we haven’t used recently. Usually, I’ve exhausted my fresh produce stores from the week before and only have pantry staples and fruits and vegetables I froze earlier in the year left, so my cooking options are pretty open. Occasionally though, we have some bits and pieces left over from impromptu weekend dinners or recipes that only used part of whatever…canned goods, big pieces of produce or meat, etc. I try to be as efficient as possible, but nobody is perfect–there are bound to be some leftovers.
On weeks like that, I give myself an extra challenge and structure the menu around those leftovers. Honestly, some of my best meals come out of it. This was one of those “let’s use all the random things in the fridge” weeks. Half a butternut squash, most of a can of chipotle peppers and a few cups of chicken stock because a butternut chipotle soup with the help of some frozen corn. The rest of the chipotle peppers and some leftover beans became tacos. And a few leftover roasted carrots and roast beef, along with some frozen leftover gravy, were transformed into a beef pot pie.
This beef pot pie is an excellent use of leftovers. Any cut of beef will work, but I have had great results from both an eye of round roast and stew beef. I typically make gravy using the pan drippings when I cook the beef, but leftover gravy from a previous pot roast works just as well!
- 1 pie crust (after lots of experimentation, I've found that this recipe makes the best flaky crust)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 celery stalk, sliced thin
- 3 medium carrots, sliced thin
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups leftover beef, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups gravy (I used leftover gravy that I had frozen and defrosted. Otherwise, you can make it using this recipe)
- Prepare the crust as directed in the recipe, though you may choose to decrease the sugar to 1 teaspoon or leave it out entirely. It depends on how you plan to use the other pie crust, as this recipe makes two. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots and onions. Cook, stirring often, for 4-6 minutes. At this point, the vegetables should be a little softer, maybe beginning to brown, and the onions should be translucent. Don't worry if the carrots still feel a little crunchy; they'll soften up as the pot pie cooks.
- Add the beef and cook another 2-3 minutes to take the chill off. Decrease the heat to medium and add the gravy. Stir so that all the vegetables and meat are covered in gravy, then leave it alone until the gravy is heated through and beginning to bubble. Remove from the heat.
- Flour a cutting board or your counter well, to keep the dough from sticking. Put 1 of the two discs of pie dough on the board and pat the top with flour. Roll out the pie crust into a large circle that will fit your skillet. Carefully peel it off the board and lay it over the beef and vegetables. Cut a few slits in the dough with a sharp knife, then slide the skillet into the 400F oven (careful, if you are using cast iron the skillet will still be hot!).
- Bake at 400F for 40-45 minutes, until the gravy is bubbling up at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.