Pie baking champion Francine Bryson doesn’t just make sweet pies.
She’s been eating savory pies since she was a young child, and her mother used to make this pie after church on Sundays. Roasted butternut squash and potatoes are tossed with small cubes of stew meat that have been browned in a skillet. Bryson, who is based in South Carolina, thickens the filling with a quick stove-top gravy and then bakes it in a regular ol’ pie crust.
As the title of her book, “Country Cooking from a Redneck Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter, $22), suggests, this is country cooking at its finest. It’s comforting, homey food to warm up your house on one of these cold weekends and, if you’re not used to eating savory pies, could inspire even more meat-potatoes-and-gravy pies this winter.
Sunday Supper Pie
This is one from Mama. She would prep this butternut squash, potato and beef pie and bake it once we got home from church. Back then, though we lived about 19 miles south, we went to church in the town I live in now. By the time we got home, it was already getting dark. This pie was in the oven while we had baths and got our school clothes ready for Monday morning.
— Francine Bryson
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
3 medium russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 lb. beef for stew, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Salt and black pepper
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the squash and potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with the seasoned salt and thyme. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the beef pieces and brown well on all sides, about 8 minutes. Drain the beef on paper towels. Reserve the skillet.
Fit the pie dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Add the beef, squash and potatoes to the pie shell.
Pour the beef broth into the pan juices in the skillet. Whisk in the cornstarch. Bring to a boil over high heat and whisk until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the pan gravy over the meat and veggies. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
— From “Country Cooking from a Redneck Kitchen” by Francine Bryson (Clarkson Potter, $22)
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