Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sausage Pie

After having such a mild fall, this winter has officially been the coldest winter I've ever lived through. Driving my daughter to school in the morning in temperatures that have ranged from -3 to 5 degrees has been simply insane. The heated seats in my van are getting a good workout, though. These frigid temperatures call for warm, cozy food, like this Sausage Pie.

This pie is very, very tasty, and very easy to make. I love to make it a one-pot dish and finish it off in the oven in the skillet, but you can instead transfer the filling to a 9x13 baking dish, top it with the pie crust, and bake it. If you decide to leave it in the skillet, make sure that yours is oven-safe, and that you've removed the silicone/rubber handle cover (oops.). And please, please remember that your handle is going to be hot, and don't grab it with your hand after you've taken it out of the oven. It. Really. Hurts.

This time I made the pie with a pie-crust top, but I've also made it with biscuits on top. Yum. I used a Pillsbury pie crust, but if you have a pie crust recipe you love, please feel free to use that instead. Also, this time I used frozen peas and carrots, but I've also used 1/2 cup frozen peas and 2 fresh carrots, scraped and diced.

To speed things along, I cooked the potatoes until they were almost tender in a bowl of water in the microwave, about 15 minutes on high.

Sausage Pie

1 12-oz tube Jimmy Dean 50% less fat sausage
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened according to package directions

1. Heat your oven to 425 deg. If you're going to use your skillet in the oven, make sure you take off the handle over before starting the filling. If you're going to transfer the filling to a 9x13 baking pan, spray it lightly with non-stick spray.

2. Put the potatoes and salt in a microwave-safe bowl, and cover with water. Cook in the microwave on high for about 10-15 minutes, or until almost tender. Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brown and crumble the sausage until only a few spots of pink remain. Add the bell pepper and onion, and cook, stirring often, until the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and thyme, and stir to coat everything. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add the chicken broth, milk, and Worcestershire sauce, and mix well. Bring it to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, 5-10 minutes. Stir in the parsley, peas and carrots, and partially cooked potatoes. Remove from the heat.

5. Lightly flour your counter top or work surface. Unroll the pie crust and gently roll it out with a rolling pin so it's just a little bit bigger. If you're leaving the pie in the skillet, gently place the pie crust on top of the filling and make several cuts in it to let steam escape. If you're using a 9x13 baking pan, transfer the filling to the prepared pan, top with the pie crust, and make the cuts.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly around the edges, the crust is golden brown, and the potatoes are tender.

Makes 4 generous servings.

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