This week I made the best easy beef stew pot pies with Kraft Recipe Makers New England Pot Roast as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®
With the arrival of fall and thoughts of the holidays on the way and most of my family far away I found myself getting my annual itch of nostalgic cooking. Ask any member of my parent's family what dish they look forward to all year and you'll get one of two answers. Neither of them involves a turkey. My father will almost certainly say pot roast. My sisters will without question say beef stew. If you ask me they're pretty much the same when prepared using my mother's heirloom recipe.
I've made it exactly once and as much as I enjoy the reminder of home it brings I pretty much REFUSE to make the time investment it requires. Why? Because my mother is a glutton for punishment and her dish requires one to labor over a hot stove for hours upon hours until your hair stinks like onions and you've pretty much lost your mind. So this recipe had been cast off until a few weeks ago when one of my bloggy besties was working on a project and told me about Kraft Recipe Makers.
Basically they are prepared sauces you can use to season food. I mean nothing new and revolutionary, right? In fact, ever the skeptic But I liked that they were meant for use in a slowcooker. And then while I was at Walmart I saw that there was one for New England Pot Roast.
That's right mom. If you're reading this, first of all I'm ducking and second of all you're going to cry when you find out that all these years you could have been out running errands instead of slaving over the stove for 12+ hours. Because I have to be honest, the end result was really pretty darn close to your recipe. Then because I adore pot pies and consider them the highlight to inclement weather I decided to turn my beef stew into pot pies. Lazy style. Here's how I did it.
I roughly cut some fingerling potatoes, carrots and yellow onions. For things like this I don't use measurements, simply the oh that looks good rule. In order to save your sanity I'll say it was about 4 carrots, 4 cups of potatoes and 3/4 of an onion.
The Kraft Recipe Makers box calls for 1lb of meat but I used just under 1.5 lbs of stew meat and it worked just fine. Plenty of flavor to go around. I tossed the meat and vegetables into my slow cooker and then poured the Simmer Sauce over them. That's right, Recipe Makers has two sauces. One the ingredients cook in the entire time and then one you add about 15 minutes before the dish is done.
I cooked this on high for about 6.5 hours stirring every once in a while. At the end I added in the Finishing Sauce and gave it a really good stir. When I came back 15 minutes later it sure did seem like pure home cooking beef stew. Only I didn't reek like it AND I'd managed to spend that time completely rearranging all of the furniture in our living room and moving a giant toy storage unit into Kayla's new room. Perhaps I am becoming my mother after all.
After the stew finished cooking I whipped out some prepared crescent roll dough. You know, the kind you find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
Yep, if you're going to eat beef stew I figure you might as well do it the right way and add a buttery crust. If you know me, you know this kind of eating is rare BUT it's the perfect meal for curing a case of homesickness or getting yourself to a place of "I'm okay with this whole change of seasons."
Earlier in the day I happened to stumble upon these fall cookie cutters I had bought last year and thought they were the perfect easy way to make my pot pies look a little more special and dare I say Martha-like. Certainly she would approve of seasonally appropriate ornamentation of food.
I baked these for about 13 minutes at 375 degrees and they came out looking pretty perfect. My incredibly picky husband agreed that they tasted quite good. Much better than the cooking he used to get when we first got married. And I think he liked that the kitchen didn't get destroyed in the process either!