Leftover Pie

November 2010

A pot pie can be a slew of comfort foods thrown effortlessly into a pie crust, or it can be a carefully calculated combination of ingredients.  I like the line between those two approaches when a pot pie wraps a whole-wheat, flaky crust around the remnants of meal prepared with all the love and care of a Saturday morning trip to the farmer’s market and an afternoon spent in a kitchen.

This was one of those potpies.

The herb-crusted beef, horseradish sauce and potato casserole of a well spent Saturday combined with green peas and a homemade crust for a weeknight treat and a jealous dogface.

Part One:  A Meat and Potatoes Kind of Night

Herb-Crusted Beef


½ cup sour cream
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup horseradish, drained
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon pure cane sugar
Salt and pepper


2 high quality chuck steaks, 5-6 lbs total
2 teaspoons pure cane sugar
2 slices high quality whole grain bread, quartered
½ cup fresh parsley
2 teaspoons plus 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 ¼ ounces parmesan cheese
6 Tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves

For the Sauce

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 1½ hours to thicken.

For the Beef

Combine 1 Tablespoon salt, 1 Tablespoon pepper and sugar in a small bowl and rub the mixture over the steaks.

Place one steak on top of the other and secure with butcher’s twine if necessary.

Transfer the beef to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor for crumbs.  Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and toss with 2 Tablespoons parsley, 2 teaspoons thyme, ½ cup parmesan and 2 Tablespoons olive oil until evenly combined.

Wipe out the food processor and process the remaining parsley, thyme cheese, 4 Tbs oil and garlic to a smooth paste.  Transfer the paste to a small bowl.

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Roast the beef 20 minutes and remove from the oven.

Separate the two steaks.  Coat the beef with the herb paste followed by the crumb topping.

Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 125 degrees for medium-rare and the topping is golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Leave the beef uncovered on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board and carve.  Serve with the sauce.

Mashed Potato Casserole


4 lbs local potatoes (about 8 medium) peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks.
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup organic, low-sodium chicken broth
12 Tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) local Amish butter, cut into pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons salt
4 large, local, free-range eggs
¼ cup finely chopped chives


Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Heat the half-and-half, broth, butter, garlic, mustard and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Keep warm.

Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.  With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the potatoes, slowly adding the half-and-half mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Scrape down the bowl; beat in the eggs 1 at a time until incorporated.

Transfer the mixture to a greased, glass, baking dish.  Use a fork to make a peaked design on the potatoes.  Bake until the potatoes rise and brown, about 35 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes.  Serve.

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