Can February just be over already? In addition to the usual reasons I hate February (still not daylight savings time, too early to garden, generally bad weather) this year I’m adding stuck in a crummy apartment to my list of reasons to hate this month. To make matters even worse, I’ve been sick for over a week now, so I’m literally unable to work out, or go out in public much in order to avoid spreading my germs everywhere.
The good news is that we’re waiting to close on our new house which means regular cooking and creating is to resume shortly. I’m so relieved that the stress of house hunting is finally over, but the anticipation of moving in might kill me in the meantime.
The days have been crawling by as I attempt to pass the time by dreaming about how I’m going to arrange our furniture, and what I’m going to cook in my new fabulous kitchen. I never thought I’d be looking forward to moving so much in my entire life. I can’t wait to have an actual address instead of a temporary PO Box. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed. I can’t wait to open the back door and let the dogs out instead of leashing them up and taking them down an elevator.
Move along February. I’m over you.
In anticipation of March (spring! gardening! March madness! St. Patrick’s day!) I’m sharing these beef stout pot pies with a cheddar crust. Not only are they hearty and comforting, but they’re kind of festive right?
I only wish I was able to make something this delicious in my temporary apartment kitchen. We’re currently getting by on eggs, sandwiches and an occasional pasta dish. What I wouldn’t give for a pot pie right about now.
Beyond the comfort and convenience of being in my own home, I’m really looking at this house and this spring as a new beginning for me. It’s been nearly a year of uncertainty and turmoil, waiting to find out what’s going to happen and where we’re going to live. In a lot of ways I felt like I lost my identity through this journey, and I’m ready to get back to myself and my life.
I’m also looking forward to sharing all my new ideas and creations with all of you, so thanks for being patient. I promise that this blog will be blooming again soon.
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 5 ounces Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
- 6 to 7 tablespoons cold stout beer
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2¼ pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup stout beer
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- To make the dough combine 1¾ cups flour, salt, butter, and Kerrygold cheese in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, work ingredients until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add cold stout beer, tablespoon by tablespoon until dough comes together. Form dough into a ball, pat into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Meanwhile, to make the filling, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Toss beef with flour, salt and pepper. Add the beef to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Add the stout and 2 cups water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer, then cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Add the leeks, carrots and celery to the pot and continue cooking for one additional hour.
- Meanwhile, put six 10-ounce ramekins on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll out the dough and cut circles to fit the top of the ramekins.
- Remove the filling from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees,
- Divide the filling evenly between ramekins. Top each pie with a circle of dough, pressing the edges into the ramekin. Cut a slit on top of each to release steam.
- Brush each pie with the beaten egg and bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
- Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.