Beef Pot Pies with Octopus Puff Pastry Topping

Serves: 8

What a fun Halloween treat to serve to your family. No real octopus meat is included in the recipe.

Yield: 8 pies
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients:

2 boxes (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, chuck roast, or sirloin, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary)
1/2 cup dry sherry
5 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
12 small red potatoes (1-1/3 lbs.), cut in 1" pieces, skin on
2 cups fresh or frozen pearl onions, thawed if frozen
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 (1-pound) bag frozen pea and carrot medley (approx 3 cups; do not thaw)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
black olives, for eyes

Directions:

CUT PASTRY TOPS: Use 12-16 oz. oven proof bowls. Turn one upside down on thawed pastry sheet and cut around it with a small knife. Trim round so it will fit just inside the top of the bowl. Repeat for number of crusts you need. Cut strips from pastry sheet about 3/4" wide and the length of the sheet. Cover cut pastry shapes with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

MAKE THE STEW: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in Dutch oven over med-high heat. Pat meat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add half to pan. Cook, stir occasionally, until browned and liquid gone. Remove to plate and repeat with remaining meat. Remove to plate. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, add mushrooms; cook until liquid is gone. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and rosemary; cook for approx 30 seconds. Stir in dry sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, potatoes, and browned meat. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until potatoes are cooked and beef is tender, approx. 30-45 min. Add onions. Whisk together cornstarch and cold water, stir into soup and cook until thickened; approx. 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in  parsley and frozen peas & carrots. Season with salt to taste.

ASSEMBLE THE POT PIES: Ladle stew into ovenproof bowls. Place each bowl on an oven proof plate. Place 4 strips of puff pastry over the top of the stew, down the sides, and onto the plate, arranging to make the 8 legs of the octopus. Make egg wash by whisking egg with 1 tablespoon water, brush on pastry legs. Add pastry round on top of pastry legs and brush those with egg wash. Place bowls and plates on baking sheet for easy handling. Add sliced olives for eyes.

BAKING INSTRUCTIONS: Bake at 400 until crusts are golden and filling is bubbly.
--To bake right away, bake for 25-35 minutes.
--To bake if refrigerated, bake 40-50 minutes.

If crust browns before filling is bubbly, place a loose piece of foil across the top to prevent over browning. Let pies rest 15-20 minutes before serving to allow filling to cool and thicken.

MAKE AHEAD TIPS: Cook the stew, let it cool to room temperature, pour into baking bowls, cover and refrigerate. Cut pastry sheets into rounds and strips, stack between layers of plastic wrap; cover and refrigerate. OR, go ahead and top each cooled bowl of stew with the top crust ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. (Don't brush with egg wash until right before baking.)

MAKE ONE GIANT PIE INSTEAD OF INDIVIDUAL PIES: Pour the entire beef stew mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Assemble the octopus in the same manner, but you will need 8 strips to make the legs, and hang them about 3" on the stew, and dangle them over the sides. Place the pastry sheet on top of the baking dish, trim the edges, brush with egg wash, add olive eyes and brush all with egg wash, and bake as described above.  

Source: http://www.theyummylife.com/individual_english_pot_pie#EmbedRecipe_108
Source: http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2010/10/25/tentacle-pot-pie-the-outtakes/



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