When Serving Pot Pie, Flip It Upside-Down. Here's Why

Maybe the problem in the U.S. is that we don't give single-serving pot pies enough respect. They're freezer case fodder considered quick meal options for the hurried and the less-than ambitious. But, hop over the pond to the U.K., and personal pies get their dues. Not only is this pie-loving country rich with varieties — from chicken to curry to steak and kidney — but you'll also see them gracing the menus of chippies and dedicated pie shops.

Or maybe, we just don't know how to properly go at a pot pie. Here too, we should look to the Brits, who've mastered chowing down on savory pies. When you approach a pie, cooked as it is in a diminutive aluminum pan, you likely eat it straight from the metal container. The result is like a creamy stew tinged with a bit of the crispy top crust and the sodden bottom crust clinging to the pan. The English, though, literally invert the pie, and it is a winning approach to pot pie consumption. By sending the flaky top crust to the plate and removing the aluminum pan to expose the pie's tender underbelly, you get unfettered access to every bit of the goodness. What's more, each bite has a well-rounded content of creamy, savory filling and rich crust. Does it take a bit more work? Just a little, and when the pay-off is so deliciously rewarding, it is objectively worth it.

Serving suggestions for the perfect pot pie

The beauty of this method of pie eating is that it requires so little effort. In short, cook the pie as directed in the oven, and when it is golden brown, take it out and let it cool just a bit. You can now invert it in one of two ways. If you are confident, use a towel or oven mitt to handle the aluminum and quickly flip it onto a plate. Conversely, you can bring the plate to you, so to speak, by resting it atop the pie — serving side down — and flipping the whole unit over. Regardless of your method, gently remove the aluminum pan. This may take some gentle agitating to free it, but not too much, as you don't want to risk tearing the crust beneath.

With British primacy in pie consumption established, maybe we should look to them for an even more holistic view of pie service. Traditionally, pot pies in the UK are served with mashed potatoes, hence the aptly named dish "pie and mash." Though it may seem like a starch overload with such a crusty main, is it ever really a bad thing to have buttery mashed spuds on your plate? Parsley sauce (sometimes called parsley liquor) is another classic accompaniment — a roux-thickened sauce of chicken stock and minced parsley that adds a spot of green to the heavy meal, if no actual lightness.