Ham Pot Pie

Large chunks of ham, carrots, onions and celery in a flavorful condensed cream of chicken gravy.  Enveloped by a flakey buttery crust and baked to a golden brown perfection.

Fall has come to Portland!  My Instagram feed is filling up with pictures of apples, soups and pumpkin spice everything! The colder weather has me curled up in a blanket, not wanting to get out of bed.  Winter seriously puts a cramp in my style and desire to do anything!  The only way I can think to motivate myself is to get in the kitchen, warm it up with the oven, and bake up some delicious meals and treats.  One thing I look forward to this fall is baking away in my new oven.  Here’s a good start!  Warm up with this delicious pot pie!

Here’s what you need:

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk

1 cup cooked ham (cubed)

1/2 diced onion

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

4 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste, garnish with fresh parsley

Pie crust:

1 1/2 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold water

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

Dice all your vegetables.  Place the carrots and celery with the chicken broth in a pot on the stove.  Bring the pot to boil and cover with a lid.  Let cook until the vegetables soften, turn off the heat when cooked.  However, while it’s cooking,  sautee the diced onions in a pan with 3 tablespoons butter. As the onions begin to brown, add in your diced ham and cook until the outside of the ham is lightly brown.  Turn off the burner and wait until the butter stops boiling before adding your flour.  You don’t want it to clump. Once the Ham and onions have cooled a bit, scoop a ladle full of broth from the pot of vegetables and pour it over the ham and onions.  Next, add 4 tablespoons of flour into the ham and onion mixture to thicken.  Make sure to stir fast to combine the flour with the other ingredients to prevent clumping.  The best way to prevent clumps is to let it cool fully before adding the flour, but I also know, no one has time for that! HAHA!  At least I don’t! After everything is mixed together, and you have created a paste, add it to the pot containing the broth.  Stir well to combine the ingredients you added to the broth.  With the burner on low, continue to stir the pot occasionally as it cooks. Cook until it thickens, then remove from heat.  While that rests, prepare your crust.

To make the crust, Pour out 1 1/2 Cup flour onto a counter and cut in 1/2 cup butter.  Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and work the flour and butter with your hands, breaking up the chunks of butter and mixing it into the flour.  When it is ready, the clumps of butter should be about the size of a pea.  Create a mound out of the flour mixture and hollow out the middle to form a nest.  Pour two tablespoons water into the nest and work the dough with your hands until a firm ball of dough forms.  The dough shouldn’t be too crumbly.  You should be able to roll it out and not have it stick to the table or crumble to pieces.  Believe me, there is a fine line!  If it is too wet, add more flour, if too dry, add more water. I used a floured pastry cloth to roll out my crust.  It really makes it easier to work with and to turn out inside of your desired bowl or pie dish.  You can decide if you want to make one large pie, four mini pies or two medium personal pies, as I did.  If you decide to make one large pie, divide the pie dough in two and roll out two circular pie crusts.  One for the top, one for the bottom.  If you are feeling crafty, feel free to try making a design out of pie crust strips on the top of the pie once your filling has been poured over the prepared crust in your desired pie dish.  Brush the top of the pie crust with an egg wash and into the oven it will go.  Bake at 350-400 degrees until the crust browns.  Depending on the heat of your oven, this could take 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Check on the pies 30 minutes in and rotate as needed.

since the pie filling is contained within a crust, it will be like lava in your mouth if you attempt to eat it right out of the oven.  It WILL be hard to resist, but I would recommend, cracking the top crust with a spoon to allow air to penetrate the top crust and cool the filling.  Unless of course, you enjoy eating lava, then by all means, by my guest!