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Janet McCormick/The Lawrence Herald

Chase away the chill with this warm, hearty, and simple-to-create Jerk Beef Pot Pie.

As far back as I can remember, pot pies have been a regular fall and winter rotation food that we enjoyed each week. Once or twice, I remember Mommy throwing in the towel with cooking and pulling out a few frozen savory pies she’d pick up from the store to pull out on busy nights where she felt too exhausted to make her own version.

But the times she felt like baking are the moments I remember vividly. We’d watch her roll out the dough and cut the edges from the sides of the baking dish. It was exciting because I knew we would be able to get our hands in the soft pastry, roll it out and make our own cinnamon pie cookies with the excess.

As delicious as that was, the pot pie filled with chicken and vegetables was the star of the show and it became a tradition in our house. As soon as the weather became a bit nippy, mom would make the silkiest pot pie. It made the colder temperatures bearable.

I’m christening November with a simple version of my mom’s pot pie. She would make her own pie crusts in the earlier years, then graduated to buying pre-made pie crusts. It certainly simplified the time and effort she put into making a dish we all grew to love. I love phyllo dough for its airy and flaky layers.

Not only is it a wonderful stand-in for desserts, but it’s also perfect with almost anything including pot pies. Plus, you can keep this on hand in the freezer, ready to make a quick meal on a moment’s notice.

Jerk-flavored beef is different, but it’s one of the coziest bowls of delicious and just has cold November nights written all over it.

I love this beef — it’s tender, smooth and hearty. Add this to your weeknight rotation, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Jerk Beef Pot Pies

1 package of phyllo dough

1/2 lb. flank steak, sliced thin

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 bag frozen vegetables

2 cups beef stock

1 1/2 T. cornstarch

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. jerk seasoning

2 bay leaves

1 T. oil

In a skillet, saute’ the steak, then remove and set aside. Add in 1 T. Oil, add in the onions, bay leaves and vegetables. Saute until tender. Add in the beef stock. Mix the corn starch and the heavy whipping cream. Add this to the vegetables and beef. Allow to thicken.

Add in the salt, pepper and jerk seasoning. Remove bay leaves. Place a generous portion of this mixture into ramekins. Cut the phyllo dough in squares and top the bowls with a square.

In a 400-degree, oven bake the bowls of beef for 25 minutes or until golden and fluffy.

Serve when cooled.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.

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