The CSA had some issues with turkeys this year so everyone got a size smaller than ordered but we still had plenty of meat left for pot pies. This year I wrote everything down as I worked so that I will have a better chance of knowing how to scale things up or down, as need be, in future years. Last year I was woefully short on milk so my pies were a bit watery but this year I guessed right on the milk. I was still a bit short on my roux and had to add some cornstarch but next year I’ll have notes to work off of and may get my ratio right. Of course we had to taste test the pies for dinner last night and these are definitely much better than last year.
Turkey Pot Pies
2 large onions, chopped
20 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 pound frozen peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1 gallon 2% milk
1 tablespoon Bavarian seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne
8 bay leaves
¾ cup cold water with 4 tablespoons cornstarch
7 pound cooked chopped turkey
2 batches of pie dough
12 ounces all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
8 ounces butter (18% fat, European style)
4-5 tablespoons ice water
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat and add the onions. Cook until they begin to soften, then add mushrooms and cook until they exude their liquid and it has evaporated. Add carrots and celery and cook until soft. Set aside to cool.
In a stock pot melt ¾ cup butter then add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in 1 gallon milk and seasonings. Bring to a simmer with frequent stirring then pour in water and cornstarch mixture while stirring and continue to stir until the mixture thickens and comes back to a simmer. Cover and set aside to cool.
Combine flour, sugar, salt and cold butter cut into chunks in a bowl. Work the butter into the flour by dragging your thumb in a sideways motion across your fingers forming flat flakes of butter and flour. When it is all worked in, sprinkle the water over the mixture and work it in one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap with cling film. Chill 2-4 hours. Repeat for second batch of dough.
When everything has thoroughly chilled, set out 30 individual pie tins. Remove the bay leaves from your chilled bechamel. Combine the chopped turkey with the vegetable mix and frozen peas and divide evenly among the pie tins, 2 large spoonfuls (maybe 1 cup? measure next year). Add 1 ladle of bechamel (about ½ cup? measure next year).
Roll out ½ batch of pie dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into circles large enough to cover your filling. You should get 7 or 8 “lids” for each half batch of dough. Cover each pie with foil and transfer all pie to a freezer. Once frozen put 3 pies each into gallon zip top bags to prevent freezer burn.
To bake: Preheat oven to 375 and bake until bubbly around the edges, about 30 minutes.