On to the pie. Specifically, the curried beef pot pie with herbed biscuit topping. It is the embodiment of Indian and North American comfort food, united. Like a samosa in a pot pie vehicle. Delicious!
You start by simmering ground beef in onions and lots of spices to make a thick, aromatic curry. Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking – if you’re not accustomed to spicy food, use half the curry powder and start without the cayenne, and build up to the level you like. You can always add more spice, but you sure as heck will have a hard time taking it away!
Once your curry has cooked down to the point the potatoes are pretty much mashed, you then add a quick-and-easy biscuit topping, and pop the whole deal in the oven. I served mine with mango chutney and sauteed kale. Quick, hearty comfort food.
The recipe calls for the pot pie to be made in a dutch oven, but if you do not own one, you can make the filling in a large saucepan or heavy-bottomed, deep skillet, then transfer it to a medium-sized baking dish and proceed with topping.
Curried Beef Pot Pie
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 cinnamon stick
- salt to taste
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 cup peas (frozen works perfectly!)
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp green onion, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1. Heat oil and butter in a medium-sized dutch oven over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and allow to sizzle until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown; about 10 minutes. Add jalapeno and ginger and cook 1-2 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, stirring to break up large pieces, until cooked through. Add spices (including cinnamon stick), potatoes and carrot, and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook until most of the liquid evaporates and the curry is thick. Add peas and cilantro at the last minute, to preserve their bright green colour.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers (work quickly if doing the latter, you don’t want to warm the butter). Stir in the herbs. Add milk, and toss with a fork to combine. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead gently, 10-15 strokes. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness, and cut rounds using a circle-shaped biscuit cutter or an overturned glass. Very gently re-roll out remaining dough scraps once more and repeat circle-cutting.
3. Place biscuit rounds directly on top of curry filling in dutch oven, overlapping in concentric circles. Fill in any gaps with leftover scraps of dough, tucking them under the more nicely formed circles to hide them. Transfer immediately to hot oven and bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.