Tuesday, September 13, 2011

VENISON POT PIE

As Karen Lynch Spillman cooked up her Delicious Venison Pot Pie's, she added the symbolism of the great Lone Star State. Embedding the shape of Texas on the tops of each pie crust, I reflected back many years remembering the many times my mom made these special pies for dinner. They were always filling with that trusted essence of a home cooked meal.

The word "pie" relating to food first appears in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1303. The derivation of the word may have come from magpie, shortened to pie. As a favored dish of the English, pies were baked in America once the early settlers set up camps on dry land. There was a practical reason for making pies. The harsh and primitive conditions endured by the first colonists, allowed to use less flour to bake pies than bread and did not require anything as complex such as a brick oven for baking. Additionally, pies could stretch even the most meager provisions into sustaining and feeding more hungry mouths.  While early settlers would probably not proclaim their early pies as masterpieces of culinary delights, the pie has developed into the hearty treat that filled the famished and discriminating appetites.


Venison Pot Pie
Photo and Recipe provided by Karen Spillman, Hondo Canyon Ranch, Texas

Karen Lynch Spillman and her husband Mark Spillman manage the Hondo Canyon Ranch, own by the Cowboy TV-Radio Personality, Red Steagall. When not involved with the ranch, the couple also operate their own catering business, Silver Spur Cowboy Cooking in Azle, Texas near the Fort Worth-Dallas community.

The Spillman's enjoy cooking their authentic Western cuisines. Using the same techniques for cooking as the early pioneers that followed the Oregon trail and those who cooked along the many cattle drives, their cowboy cooking speaks as the warm staple for any discriminating appetite. Their cast iron dutch ovens rest next to the open pit camp fire as they prepare entrees from their menu that includes Pork Chops, Meatloaf, Steaks, Fried Chicken, Catfish, Enchilada Stack, Chicken fried Steak or Barbecue.

Silver Spur Chuck Wagon
Their chuck wagon provides an array of side dishes; Three Potato Medley, Hominy with Green Chilies and Bacon, Sauteed Green Beans, Cowboy Beans, Baked Beans, Scalloped Potatoes, Fried Potatoes, Cole Slaw and Cowboy Corn.  Bread dishes include; choice of Homemade Rolls, Cornbread or Buttermilk Biscuits and desserts; Peach Cobbler, Cherry Crisp, Blueberry  Crisp, Apple Crisp, Bread Pudding or   Sopapillia Cheesecake.

Mark is a Firefighter-Paramedic while Karen is a homemaker and homeschool mom. Their daughter Tipi will be entering Weatherford College and currently works with the gift shop at the Weatherford Hospital. Tipi also loves the country life style and Christian ministries devoting free time assisting as a Children's Pastor. Tipi also enjoys hunting and hanging out with her friends. Their son Talon loves to team rope and hunt. He wants to rodeo and plans to also be a ranch manager like his dad. When not involved with his studies, Talon assist working the ranch and is a big help with the ranch garden. 


Karen Lynch Spillman - Venison Pot Pie Recipe:

Ingredients:

4 venison cooked steaks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 can peas and carrots, drained
1 can diced potatoes, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can mushroom pieces, drained
or 1 package of frozen mixed vegetables

6 T. Butter
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
3 c beef broth

Pastry for 2 crust pie

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 c butter flavored shortening
5-7 T cold water

Directions: 

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, shortening (butter flavored) and water. Form into a ball, roll out.
2. Place the roll dough over pie pan, covering the bottom, side and rim of each pan. Cut away any excess dough and save for covering as top crust.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
4. In a saucepan, combine venison, carrots, peas, corn and potatoes. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
5. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour and salt. Slowly stir in broth and simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
6. Place the venison mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.Note: If you desire to place a dough shape like Karen's star and Texas shapes, use a cookie cutter to create the shape and place on top of upper crust. A water and flour base paste will help adhere the dough to stick together.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Yeilds 8 servings:


Karen and Mark Spillman
Karen recommends using leftover steaks and vegetables, placing into a ziplock bag and freezing until the bag is full. Left overs make for a superb filling when making pot pies and prevent wasting food that might normally be discard. The variations for Pot Pie flavorings are unlimited. For more information about their catering, please visit the Silver Spur web site  www.silverspurcowboycooking.com
For information about Red Steagall, please visit http://www.redsteagall.com


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