I made a gluten-free dinner for some of my friends over the weekend, featuring two different pot pies. I thought both of them came out great.
The first was the “Braised Short Rib, Stout, and Potato Potpies” recipe from Martha Stewart Living. I saw this recipe on the cover of the magazine at my local coffee shop, and thought it would be perfect as a gluten-free meal since it used potatoes instead of a crust.
Of course, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that it calls for braising the meat in Guinness Stout, so it still needed some adaptation. I browned the meat using King Arthur Gluten Free flour, which worked really well. Instead of the 3 cups of Guinness, I used 3 cups of coffee with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of gluten-free cocoa (some are processed in facilities that also process wheat – check the label), and 2 to 3 tablespoons of molasses. I put in 1 tablespoon first, then decided it needed more and just glugged some in.
Margene provided some Cippolini onions from her garden, but there was only half a pound so I made up the difference with pearl onions.
I sliced 3 1/2 pounds of potatoes, but I had about a pound left over after arranging them on the pie. I sliced them by hand to no more than 1/8″ thick – so perhaps they should have been sliced a little thicker. I guess I could have put another layer over the top, but it would have messed up the pattern. (Since I don’t have a 12″ gratin dish, I used a 13×9 baking dish, which has pretty much the same area.)
It worked well and tasted good, but I think if I made it again without using Guinness, I’d probably use half coffee and half water or beef stock/broth to make it a bit less intense.
The second recipe was Lobster Shepherd’s Pie. I tripled the recipe and made 6 individual pies. I was originally planning to use the frozen Langoustine from Costco, but they don’t have it any more, so I guess it’s out of season. Since lobster is difficult to get and expensive here, I ended up using Dungeness crab instead, using 1 pound of meat for the tripled recipe.
Otherwise, the only change I made to the recipe was in the amount of half-and-half used for the potatoes. The recipe calls for 1 pound of potatoes and 1 cup of half-and-half. I suspect that’s a mistake, and it probably should be 1/2 cup. I used 3 pounds of potatoes, which means I should have used 3 cups of half-and-half. I put in two, and practically had soup. It’s a good thing I didn’t put in the entire amount or I’d have been cooking a lot more potatoes. The potato mixture was overly soft – if I’d tried to pipe it, it would never have held its shape. If you try the recipe, start with half the amount and add more if needed to get to the desired texture.