Individual turkey pot pies.

I have to admit, guys, that part of the reason I was so motivated to post Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes was because this thing I threw together didn’t make sense without them.

Well, that’s kind of a lie. It made SENSE, but wasn’t as much fun. So, I bided my time & insisted on doing it “in order”. And so here we find ourselves.

As you may have realized by now, one of the things I’m worst at is coping with leftovers. I’m constantly pushing leftovers on people who come over for even just a normal dinner. With a meal like Thanksgiving, where the foisting of leftover is not just normal, but practically required? Feh!

This is, in fact, a huge part of why I was so worried my initial turkey wasn’t big enough and so acquired a bigger one. I actually figured that an 8 lb turkey would be big enough for six people’s dinner. But then I faced the likelihood of being a remiss hostess and being unable to send leftovers home. Unacceptable!

Or so I thought.

It turns out that one person just didn’t show up, and of the three guests we did have, only one wanted to take leftovers. We were swimming in turkey. Delicious turkey. But too much delicious turkey. I had to figure something out.

Eventually I started thinking about all the leftovers, and concluded that the correct answer was a pot pie. I wasn’t quite sure how the mashed potatoes & turnips were going to fit, but I was sure they would. Somehow.

Then it took me two days to actually get around to making the pie. But that’s okay, that allowed the ideas in my head to blend, and it allowed me to bounce ideas off of people. In particular, I am thankful to Rob of the attractive chain mail cuff for making an off-hand comment about individual pot pies. That saved the recipe.

So here’s what I did, and what you should also do, sometime.

h2. Ingredients

Leftover mashed potatoes (and turnips)
Leftover cooked turkey, chopped in to bite-sized chunks (I used about 2 c chunks for 3 large, but still individual, pies.)

2 – 4 carrots, chopped

2 – 4 radishes, chopped

1 onion, chopped

Dough for one pie crust (in my case, also leftover from Thanksgiving)

Butter for the pan

h2. Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375F. Choose that because, really, why not? Some other temperature probably works as well.

Grab a bunch of ramekins. Basically, pick a size and number that suits you & your company. Just you? One sizable ramekin is probably fine. Looking to make dinner for a bunch of friends? Several little ones may be better.

However many you decide to make, smear some of the mashed potatoes in the bottom. Make it a thick layer. Pretend you’re making reverse Shepard’s pies or something. That’s what I did.

Glob some butter in a saute or frying pan. However much will depend on if you’re using non-stick, well-seasoned cast iron, something totally “sticky” and personal preference. Melt it down over medium-high heat & make sure it’s spread all over the pan. Once the pan is pretty hot, toss in the onion, radishes & carrots. Cook, aiming for a nice caramelization, for maybe five minutes. The goal isn’t to cook them into complete softness, but to get some nice color on them and prep them for the oven1. Once they’re nicely colored and you think it won’t take much to soften them (maybe they’re already soft), add the turkey just to warm through. Then throw it all in the ramekins on top of the mashed potatoes & turnips.

Roll out your pie crust to whatever thickness you’re used to. I’d say “1/4 inch thick”, but that’d imply I even considered that. I didn’t. I just rolled it out until I decided I was done. Once it’s rolled out, cut small circles that are a bit bigger than your ramekins. Cover the ramekins with the crust, and seal it up nicely. Cut a small vent in the top, in case of steam, and then pop them in the oven.

Bake until the crust is golden brown. I don’t remember how long this was, but it wasn’t long. Then pull the ramekins out & serve!

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

I have to be honest. This was another throw together meal, and I’m really proud of it. It was super good, the radishes were an inspired choice (because I hate them, but cooking really helps), and it was so easy. The hardest part was rolling out & cutting the dough, and if you already have pie crust dough around, you’re prepared to do that.

If I’d had celery, I’d have used it. However, I hate celery, so I wouldn’t have used a proportional amount. Most people would, so if you like (and have) celery, do that.

I love butter. I used a lot of it.

The best part of this recipe is that it’s SO simple to throw together that you can chop ALL of your extra turkey for the freezer and it won’t add substantially to the wait or prep time. (Ask me how I know.)

h3. Consumption

Tasty. Bill really appreciated this as well. He had the second pie, which I think says good things for a “throw it together” recipe. He also really liked the radishes.

Go. Cook some radishes. Eat them. Nom.

fn1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Look at me here! Giving directions like I know what the hell I’m talking about. I don’t, really. I’m just trying to tell you what I was thinking.