One of my very first cookbook memories is that of one that my kindergarten class put together. Each student in the class was supposed to bring a family recipe from home and then the teacher typed them up and made copies on one of those mimeograph machines with the blue ink (Look it up if you don’t know what a mimeograph machine is kids.) and then laminated the cover, punched holes in the sides, and tied it all together with red yarn. We submitted a beef stroganoff- one of the favorite things my mom makes to this day. The thing I remember about that handmade cookbook is that each of those recipes came from a place of love and the cookbook itself was put together with love. After having read and tried a few recipes from David Venable of QVC’s new cookbook Back Around the Table I can say the same for it.
It’s a beautiful cookbook put together with an obvious love for food and sharing that food with others. From the sweet foreword by Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond to the very last recipe (a gorgeous Peppermint Cake perfect for the holidays!) this cookbook is an ode by David to comfort food. Each recipe has a personal story with it about why David loves it or a memory attached to it.
The photos are mouthwatering art and the stories with the recipes are well written and enjoyable. I love the way the cookbook is not only divided by course as many cookbooks are but it’s also broken out by cooking method such as slow cooker or grilling. Their are also sections just for entertaining and holidays to make them easy to find.
The recipes in Back Around the Table are appetizing and with each page I was more often than not thinking “Oh I want to make that!” The entire book is beautiful comfort food that I would be proud to serve to my family or at a party. I won’t promise each recipe is quick and easy. The homemade beef pot pies I’m sharing today do take a lot of love and several steps, but David guides you through each one with clear, well written instructions and the end result is so worth any time spent in the kitchen.
- 1 to 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ pounds ½ inch sirloin beef cubes or leftover steak
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup finely chopped white onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus 2 to 3 tablespoons for rolling out pastry
- 2½ cups beef broth, warmed
- ¼ cup heavy cream warmed
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Put the potato cubes and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender but still firm, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Season the beef cubes with the 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Heat the canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add the beef cubes and brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a large bowl. Add the onions to the Dutch oven and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions and garlic and add to the bowl with the beef.
- In the same Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is medium brown in color 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the warm beef broth, cream, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a slight boil. Reduce the heat and continue stirring until the sauce has thickened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the beef mixture to the Dutch oven. Add the cooked potatoes, mixed vegetables, parsley, thyme, and the remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Divide the beef mixture among four 12-14 ounce individual oven proof crocks.
- Using the remaining flour, on a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a bowl and a paring knife, trace and cut out 4 circles large enough to cover the tops of each crock, allowing for a little to hang over the edges. Place 1 circle on top of each filled crock and crimp the edges. Cut 2 or 3 slits into the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash over the top of each pastry shell. Sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
- Place the potpies on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and lightly brown. Remove the potpies from the oven and let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
As I mentioned, the Homemade Beef Pot Pies do involve several steps and take some time, but not one of the steps is hard. The instructions are easy to follow as are all of the recipes in the book. The finished pies are delicious- rich hearty filling inside a light flaky crust. Comfort food at its best and they took me back to a time when pot pies were one of my favorite things to eat as a kid.
Back Around the Table with David Venable is a beautiful cookbook and even more than that the recipes do not disappoint. From these delicious pot pies to the mac and cheese to the skinny fried chicken they are all keepers and made with love. Gather those dearest to you around your own table with these love letters from the kitchen.
If you think your family will enjoy this recipe, be sure to visit qvc.co/AroundtheTableCookbook to learn more about and purchase Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook. Filled with 156 great recipes like this, you’re sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and gathers everyone back around the table!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of QVC. The opinions and text are all mine.