Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cheddar Biscuits and Waygu Beef

Growing up, I never had a casserole, I never had a potpie, I'm pretty sure I also never had Jell-o salad or any of those super "American" foods that you see at All American barbecues. I'm sure there's a laundry list of typical foods that most families grow up eating in some variation that my family didn't have. Honestly, I don't feel like I've missed anything and I've never really had the desire to eat them.  Again, maybe it's because I just didn't ever have them growing up, but I lack any form of nostalgia for them. A nostalgic dinner to me is The Dad's gravy (meatballs and sausage in a red sauce served over ravioli) or The Mom's comforting shredded beef (beef round that's flambĂ©ed and then slow cooked in beef broth and served on kaiser rolls with provolone cheese).

On the other hand, The Husband grew up with more of these traditional foods.  So when I come across a recipe that seems like it would be in his wheelhouse (but also goes with things I enjoy) I try to make them. This potpie recipe stood out because it doesn't use the typical cream or milk that many other recipes call for.  I decided to use Waygu beef instead of the typical ground chuck because I thought it would add a nice flavor and also it fancies up the dish a little.

It isn't as gooey inside as most potpies, but the root vegetables really add an amazing flavor and the biscuits are quick and easy to make. They're so easy in fact, that I made them on their own a few days later. I just dropped them into a round cake pan and cooked them for 40 minutes.


1 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1 Small Bag of Baby Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 Large Parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 LB Waygu Beef
1 1/2 TSP chopped thyme
1 1/2 TSP chopped rosemary
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
3 Cups of 2% Milk
1 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
One 10-ounce package frozen peas
2 Cups of good Sharp Cheddar Shredded or grated. You want to avoid pre-shredded cheese here, it's not going to be as good. Take the few minutes and shred your own cheese, trust me on this one.

Preheat the oven to 450°, make sure one rack is at the lower third of the oven and one is at the top third. Make sure that you put foil at the bottom of your oven to catch the drips. This will bubble over and make a mess of the bottom of your oven!

In a large pot, melt 2 TBS of the butter in the oil. Add the onion, carrots and parsnips; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, this can take up to 15 minutes  Add the beef, thyme and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat.  This goes without saying, but make sure you break the meat up, you don't want a block of meat in the middle of your vegetables. Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the milk and the stock and simmer until thickened,  this should be around 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, it's going to come about 3/4 of the way up, maybe a little more.

In a Cuisinart put the remaining 2 cups of flour and the remaining  butter, mix  until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cheddar, hit pulse until the cheddar is incorporated and finally add in the remaining 1 cup of milk until a smooth dough forms. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and arrange roughly 18 mounds of the biscuit dough on the filling of your baking dish.

Bake the pie on the top rack of the oven for 40 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the biscuits are cooked through. It's going to be really hot, so make sure you let the potpies rest for 10 minutes before serving. And enjoy!
It's delicious cold too!

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