Yes, a saucy beef stew is good. Give it a flaky bottom crust and a savory topping, though, and it’s transformed into a heavenly pot pie. Nobody complains about leftover turkey and veggies. Add a sweet potato topping, and suddenly, you’re a cooking phenom. I could go on, and I will, because the dinner pies that follow transform ordinary ingredients into something extraordinary and delicious.
For all their many virtues, a dinner pie is not a quick preparation. You don’t waltz into the kitchen with a handful of groceries at 5:30 p.m. and have dinner on the table by 6:01. Dinner pies need a little time, which is why weekends are my favorite time to make them. I’ll often do some of the prep work on a Saturday—like making the dough and lining the pie plates with it—and finish the rest on Sunday leading up to family dinner.
If the thought of a delicious dinner pie doesn’t exactly rev your engine, perhaps you haven’t pushed your imagination beyond the basic double crust beef or chicken pot pie. I love tradition as much as the next fellow, but even tradition can get boring. That’s why I like to step out of my comfort zone and push the boundaries of haute pie possibilities. I don’t want to defy tradition entirely—just step on its toes for the sake of a great meal.