Brimming with chopped zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms, this meat-lover's potpie packs in a hearty serving of vegetables.
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound ground sirloin
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup prechopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated soft breadstick dough
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain. Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel. Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan. Add zucchini and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); sauté 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Return beef to pan. Stir in wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and broth. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Spoon beef mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Separate breadstick dough into strips. Arrange strips in a lattice fashion over beef mixture. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until browned.
The recipe gets a 2-star rating for potential. Ground sirloin doesn't lend itself well to casseroles or pot pies because it's too dry and doesn't impart that hearty beef flavor when it's mixed up and used the way other cuts of ground meats were intended. That's why I strongly recommend using ground round or even chuck for a recipe of this type and draining off the excess fat.
On the vegetable side, while I love zucchini, once again, not in a casserole. Experiments are great, but I believe certain dishes are tried and true for specific reasons. The recipe simply begs for potatoes that could either be added as chunks or mashed and spread on top much like a shepherd's pie or even on the bottom of the dish. Short of that maybe rice, but potpies are nothing if not comfort food and as it is, the comfort is missing from this recipe.
I think I would try another veggie besides zucchini. To avoid the salt and hydrogenated oils in refrigerated breadsticks I used store brand whole wheat pizza dough for top.
I used no salt beef broth. I would make this again as it was quick and easy.
This was pretty good, especially considering that I forgot to add the spices! I probably shouldn't be reviewing this recipe because I changed so much of it--I didn't have enough zucchini, so I added veggies I had on hand, including broccoli, cauliflower, and green pepper. I cut the mushrooms really small so my daughter wouldn't see them. :-) I also used a product called "Better Than Broth," (instead of regular canned beef broth) which gave the potpie a deep, beefy flavor that we loved.
The only thing I didn't like about the recipe was the refrigerated bread sticks. The only options at our grocery store contained partially hydrogenated oils. Of course, the breadsticks were delicious (are are most things made with partially hydrogenated oils!), but I felt bad about serving transfats to my family when I know how bad they are for anyone's health.