Potpies bring back warm memories, don't they? You can make individual pies, meat or vegetarian, in small tins or as large pies served in slices for family memories of your own.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Cabernet Beef Stew (or Mushroom) Personal Pot Pie (Prep time about 1 hour, 30 minutes.)

½ lb. stew beef, cut into smaller bites (for vegetarian: 2 C. sliced mushrooms)

1 C. each chopped carrot, celery and mushroom* (*for both pies if at least one is meat)

¼ C. jarred pearl onion in brine, drained and rinsed

¼ C. frozen peas

½-1 C. baby potato quarters

2 C. stock for each pie

2 Tb. olive oil

3 Tb. each room temperature butter and flour for each pie

salt, pepper

1 large garlic clove, diced (split between both pies)

2 Tb. Worcester sauce for meat pie

1 Tb. rubbed sage for mushroom pie

optional 1 C. red wine for each pie (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)

2 sheets of puff pastry thawed and rolled to ¼ inch thick

Preheat oven to 375.  Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan and par-boil the potato chunks until they just start to get tender. If you are making one meat and one vegetarian pie, get out two sauce pans and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in each. In the meat pan, brown the beef chunks on all sides. In the vegetarian pan, sauté the mushrooms over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery (and additional mushrooms to the meat pan) and sauté until the vegetables start to become tender. Add the garlic slices and frozen peas.  Scrape the bottom of the pans to bring up the brown bits.  De-glaze the pans with the red wine and vegetable of beef stock.  Stir in the potato quarters and pearl onions. You may have to cut the onions in half if the pieces are too big. Add the Worcester sauce to the meat pan, sage to the mushroom pan and salt and pepper each to taste.  Rub the flour into the soft butter and drop into the simmering broth, stirring constantly.  Continue on a low simmer to thicken the gravy.  While the gravy is thickening, roll out the puff pastry dough.  Cut two rounds about a half-inch larger around than the edge of the potpie pan and the second rounds the size of the top of the potpie pans.  I was able to get two bottom crusts and two top crusts out of one sheet of puff pastry, but I had to re-roll the scraps from the bottom crusts to get the pie tops.  Fill to heaping and cover with the top crust, firmly crimping the edges.  Cut markings into the top crust to distinguish which is the meat and which is the vegetarian pie.  Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and place on an aluminum-lined baking sheet to ease cleanup.  They likely will boil over.

Bake about 45 minutes until golden brown.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

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