Meat & Potato Pie Extraordinaire
This meat and potato pie with a mushroom and onion beef gravy is cooked in a Kamado Joe dutch oven. The over the top aspect of this pie is that the meat is not just a typical pan-browned ground beef - they are grilled meatballs - and that the sauce is mushroom enhanced. The accompaniment was an inslata caprese in a heart of romaine boat using my homemade mozzarella.
A full set of the prep and cook photos is below the write up.
The beef is made into meatballs that are about 1 ¼ inch in diameter with chopped onion, parsley, minced garlic, salt and black pepper, some Lea & Perrins, one egg beaten with some half and half and just enough bread crumbs to lightly bind the meat. They are gently mixed and formed to keep them on the looser side.
Why the meatballs you ask? Well, I wanted the meat to be browned and have a grilled and smoky flavor but also not to be dried out like they could get if grilled as a burger patty. Plus the flavor of a meatball is just so good all by itself and they were made small enough to remain mostly intact in the pie. So by making the meatballs I could grill them on Joe at 375 on direct heat with some pecan wood. They do not take long to cook. Keep a close eye in them.
This approach browned the meatballs, just got them to the cooked point and gave them a grilled richness and a moistness for the pie – just what I wanted in the dish to add the “extraordinaire” touch.
The gravy is fresh sliced/chopped mushrooms that were reduced in butter and olive oil over high heat. When they have caramelized, reduce heat, add onions and sweat for several minutes. Add some red pepper flakes and the flour (I used several tablespoons) and stir to get the flour well coated in the oil and butter.
Next finish out the sauce with initially about 2 cups of a low sodium beef broth enhanced with an extra bouillon cube or two. I actually used 2 tablespoons of “Better than Bouillion Beef Base” in 2 cups water for a very beefy stock. I also added ½ cup half and half (it was left over). Adjust sauce thickness to be a slow pourable gravy. Amend with additional liquid if necessary – I used milk to adjust. If needed, you can add extra flour for more thickness by mixing in cool water before adding.
The potatoes were reds that were left over from dinner the day before.
Layer the meatballs, potatoes, and gravy in the dutch oven. Cover with pie crust. Brush crust with a wash of an egg mixed with a bit of water. Poke vent holes in crust. There are two crusts in the package and I used 1 -1/2 .
The pie was baked indirect in the Kamado at 400 for around 45 minutes until the crust is browned. I raised the temp to 450 after 35 minutes when the filling started to bubble thru the crust vent holes as the crust was not at the top level of the dutch oven and I wanted to speed the browning with a hotter air flow since it was recessed.
As lagniappe, since the accompaniment for the meal was going to be a variation of an insalata caprese with my homemade mozzarella cheese, when I saw I had left over pie crust I quickly put together some “pizza” margherita appetizers. No sauce – just some olive oil on the crust. Cooked next to the pie for about 15 minutes until cheese finally started to toast and the crust had set up. They were really good.
I gotta tell ya, and the family will agree, this was indeed a meat and potato pie extraordinaire. The flavor from the grilled meatballs with some smokiness was outstanding and was well complemented by the mushroom/onion gravy. It was hard to stop at just seconds. Glad there is enough left over for lunches and/or another meal.
It may be a simple dish but certainly one that could be served to company with rave reviews.
The dutch oven was the perfect cooking vessel on this type of cook.
Here is the prep and cook from start to finish in photos:
Meatballs (all 42 of them – about 2.5 lbs of Costco ground beef)
The Raw Meatballs
Cooking on Big Joe (you have to carefully turn them with spatula and tongs to avoid them breaking apart – cook unit just done – do not overcook and risk drying them out)
They Tasted Good Just Like This
The Mushrooms and Onions
Sauteed in Butter and Olive Oil
After Addition of the Flour
The Finished Gravy (it is good all by itself, too – would be great over toast points)
Finalizing the Pie
The Cooked Potatoes
Putting It Together
Add the Gravy
Now The Pie Crusts
Time to Bake
Get it Baking on Big Joe (use a double deflector with air spacer to keep bottom from burning)
The Appetizer is Ready to Serve
Pie is Baked – Yeah!
A Last Look
Thanks for virtually sharing this meal.
Pan Seared Cod with a Mushroom Fish Velouté Enhanced with White Wine
Wild caught cod was on sale at the market and I decided to take this meal uptown and someplace special. The cod was seasoned and pan seared. As a sauce for the fish, I prepared a fish velouté with a white wine addition plus chopped sautéed mushrooms enhanced with egg yolk and whole milk (in place of cream) --- effectively a Sauce Normade with a wine component. It was served with “stewed” eggplant and some potato salad Mrs. Smokehowze had prepared.
The Fish Velouté was 2 oz of butter, 2 oz of flour and a quart of quality seafood stock. Use the butter and flour to prepare a light blond roux. Slowly add fish stock and cook at low simmer to reduce for about 30 minutes whisking often to develop as smooth sauce. I added a teaspoon of HonDashi granules to further perk up the fish flavor element in the veloute. Season simply with a pinch of salt and a generous measure of ground white pepper.
Next I added about ½ cup of a white wine (I used a sauvignon blanc as it was handy and already opened) and cooked for 10 minutes at low simmer to reduce and blend/develop flavors.
16 oz of mushroom were diced and sautéed in a small amount of butter until almost all the liquid was removed from the mushrooms. The pan was deglazed with some white wine and the mushrooms and pan jus was added to the velouté.
½ cup of whole milk and 3 egg yolks were whisked and allowed to come to room temperature. The egg mixture was tempered by slowly adding several ladles of the velouté to the eggs and whisking to warm the egg mixture and avoid curdling the eggs. The tempered mix was then slowly folded into the velouté and brought back to heat with a gentle simmer and allowed to develop flavors and thicken for about 5-10 minutes –whisking occasionally to fully incorporate.
This rich “Normande sauce” variant had an amazing flavor and it was difficult to stop going back for “tastings”.
For a garnish for the fish and sauce, I sliced several mushrooms and quickly browned them in a minimal amount of olive oil.
Two eggplants (one large and one medium) were peeled and diced. I sweated the Cajun trinity along with some chopped mushrooms, green onion, minced garlic and chopped parsley, dried thyme, some Emeril’s Essence, salt and black pepper, splashes of Worcestershire, a few dashes of Tabasco and a pinch of sugar. Then add the eggplant and cook for 30-40 minutes on medium low heat covered until the eggplant is tender. Stir as needed to keep from sticking and burning. The approach here is a flavorful dish that is not highly seasoned to avoid overpowering the fish course.
BTW..I often make the same stewed eggplant in a much more seasoned version adding chopped tomatoes and shrimp or seasoned sausage for a heavier side dish.
The cod was rinsed and patted dry and seasoned with Emeril’s Essence . I chose to pan sear the fish as I I wanted some flavor on the fish (as opposed to just poaching it) to build a layer of flavors with the fish and the sauce. Pan sear in a well heated but not smoking skillet the cod in a swirl of olive oil - cooking the fish to the just flaking stage turning once. Do not overcook the fish. You do however want a nice high heat seared effect on the fish with a good toasting of the seasoning on the fish to bring out the flavors in the Essence.
The Potato Salad
The interesting thing on the potato salad was the dressing. It was half Greek Yoghurt and half mayonnaise along with Dijon mustard. After coating the potatoes and gently mixing cider vinegar was also added to taste. Quite a nice potato salad created by Mrs. Smokehowze. Not as heavy as the typical all mayo version and less calories, too.
As the stewed eggplant should have a good moisture component when properly prepared, it was served in its own dish. The seared fish filets were arranged and generously coated with the fish/wine/mushroom (aka wine Normande) sauce and then garnished with the toasted mushroom slices and chopped parsley. Add the potato salad and some sliced cucumbers that were tossed with cider vinegar and you have a meal.
Like I said, an “uptown meal”. The stars in this cook were definitely the fish and the sauce. It was an outstanding combination and well worth the effort. The layering of flavors of the seasoned fish and the rich sauce was quite complementary and made you just want to go back for seconds and definitely reach for additional spoonfuls of sauce during the meal. Be sure to have extra sauce available to satisfy the craving.
Atomic Buffalo Turds 3 Ways
Half of a Jalapeño for each ABT, wrapped in 1/2 a slice of bacon (a lower sodium package)
Beirão Chouriço with caramelized onion cream cheese Portuguese cured pork sausage cut into slivers about 2.5" long and 1/2" wide, then "roasted" and crisped in a toaster oven for 10 minutes - onion, red peppers, garlic sautéed & caramelized in olive oil, then chopped and blended with cream cheese Spicy Shrimp with caramelized onion cream cheese Shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic with some Portuguese hot pepper paste, skins and tails removed before assembly - onion, red peppers, garlic sautéed & caramelized in olive oil, then chopped and blended with cream cheese Cremini Mushrooms with Mushroom Risotto Mushrooms sautéed in butter with garlic
Cooked for about 1.5 hours on Kamado Joe Junior indirect at 250 for much of the time, ramped to 280 and then 300 (due to small time crunch).
Grilled Wild Salmon with Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms and Black Rice
The Meal: Grilled Salmon, Stuffed Mushrooms & Black Rice
A Meal By Themselves (or a Serious Good Appetizer Since These Are the Medium Sized Mushrooms)
STUFFED CREMINI MUSHROOMS
Medium sized cremini mushrooms Ham or bacon (divide into two equal portions) Note: I used my homemade pork loin (Canadian Bacon)
finely chopped onion finely chopped green bell pepper finely minced garlic dried thyme fried or fresh chopped red pepper salt and black pepper to taste seasoned bread crumbs balsamic vinegar shredded mozzarella cheese
Main Stuffing Ingredients
Stuffing Ready for the Saute
Remove stems and from the mushrooms. Finely chop the stems and place them in a mixing bowl. Combine stems in a sauté pan heated and drizzled with olive oil with the rest of the ingredients (including a half portion of the ham or bacon) except for the bread crumbs, balsamic vinegar and cheese. Cook on medium heat until flavor comes together and some of the onion begins to caramelize and ham or bacon is cooked through. This step with the bacon or ham lets the vegetable flavorings go into the meat.
Stuffing Under Way
Mixture Before Lardons & Balsamic
Take other half portion of ham or bacon and separately pan fry until browned or crisp. Mix the lardons with the main stuffing mixture. This lets the lardon flavor become a separate element. Hint: If using ham or Canadian Bacon add a bit of butter or a touch of oil to promote the browning and crisping.
Add a good splash of balsamic vinegar to taste. Remove stuffing from heat and add sparse amounts at a time of seasoned bread crumbs just enough to add body to the stuffing and contribute a bit of binding. No need for any egg as the oils and breadcrumbs are sufficient binder.
Spoon the stuffing into the mushroom caps and compress gently. Place on the grill at 400 degrees indirect for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the stuffed mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown. You can also set them over direct heat as part of the cook near the end for a bit more toasting underneath. Add a wood chunk too...I used some pecan.
Mushrooms Ready for Grill
One large side of salmon filleted with skin on.
The Wild Salmon (1.9 lbs)
Marinade & Glaze
Mix to together the following into a flavorful marinade – adjusting proportion by tasting. The largest ingredients are the soy and the sesame oil. Reserve about ¼ of marinade for use at the grill.
low sodium soy sauce, Sesame oil Vietnamese fish oil, Mirin, powdered ginger (or grated fresh), garlic powder, onion powder , squirt of Sriracha cane syrup (or rapadura or brown sugar) splash of cooking oil.
For the Marinade
More For the Marinade
Let fish marinate for up to 4 hours in fridge (periodically spooning marinade over the fish)
Just before grilling dust fish lightly on both sides with a Cajun seasoning blend (optional)
Ready for the Grill
Use oiled grilling basket or oil the hot grill well to prevent sticking. I prefer the grilling basket as it makes handling the fish so much easier. Grill over direct medium heat (350 -375) basting the flesh side with reserved marinade. Do not over cook. Maybe 8-10 minutes total depending on thickness. Alder is a good wood, but this time i used pecan. Occasional bits of charring on the fish flesh is desirable. In other words - it makes it taste good!
Hint: For use of in the Kamado, I cut off the long handles on a grilling basket so it would fit inside with the lid shut.
Note: On this cook I did not use the basket - and I wish I had!
Additional Note: Save the grilled skin and cut it into medium size pieces and fry in hot skillet in its own oil to make “salmon skin crispies”. Man that tastes super! This you gotta try.
The meal was complemented with black rice prepared according to package directions on the stove top.
Black Rice Package
Black Rice Looks like This
SERVE & ENJOY
On the Platter and Ready to Go On The Table
Beautiful Fish & ‘Shrooms
I hope this gives you some incentive to grill salmon and/or fix stuffed mushrooms in you Kamado.
I made some really good stuffed chicken breasts. The stuffing is sauteed mushrooms, sauteed spinach, bacon crumbles, and freshly grated swiss. These were cooked direct on grill grates at 450 degrees. Let me know what you think.