The Ideal Type Of Beef Cut For The Ultimate Pot Pies

When you get the craving for a beef pot pie you are hankering for a thick, rich stew of vegetables, flavorful gravy, and tender chunks of beef under a buttery crust. The meat is especially important in this soul-comforting dish. You want it to positively fall apart and you want it to have lots of rich flavor. If you're thinking rib eye or filet mignon, think again. Reserve these pricey cuts for your grill. It's a chuck roast that's going to give you a mouthwatering pie.

We know the chuck roast isn't exactly soft, but it has all the flavor you want and it can be cooked down until it's tender, it's just going to take some time and patience. Really, any cut of beef that you'd typically braise before eating would work, like the bottom round. The catch is that you can't get away with giving the meat a quick sear before piling it in the pie crust for baking. You'll pretty much need to precook the pie filling and then bake the pie, lest you end up with a beautiful-looking beef pot pie whose meat takes more time to chew than the pie does to bake.

First make a stew, then make the pie

If you think about it, beef pot pie is just beef stew inside a pastry crust, thus, the filling should be treated as such. A slow-cooked meal like beef stew allows plenty of time for the connective tissue and tough fibers in the chuck roast to cook down and become super tender. This is exactly what you want in your pie. Your pot pie meat should first be cut into cubes or chunks and then seared until the outside is browned. Other flavoring agents are added like onion, garlic, and herbs, along with whatever vegetables your recipe calls for. Liquids like red wine and stock are also added and the stew is cooked down until the vegetables and meat are tender.

By the time you place the stew in your pie shell, it should be fully cooked. Depending on your oven temperature, a pot pie typically takes around 30 minutes to get nicely browned and flaky. This is definitely not enough time for partially cooked chuck roast to become tender so you can see why the precooking is vital. When finished, the meat should be able to be shredded with the touch of a fork and will have imparted its rich taste to the entire filling. For a relatively inexpensive cut of meat, the chuck roast has some of the best flavors you can get and makes a solid comfort meal every time.