Snowy Days, and a Smoked Turkey Pot Pie
Early risers were greeted with a Norman Rockwell type of scene. A fresh blanket of Mother Nature’s finest quality precipitation had arrived overnight. It was the type of snow that clung to everything and anything in its path. The type of snow that breeds snowmen. The kind of snow that sledders dream of.
Old friend stood tall, however, taking everything thrown at it, as if it knew that such harsh weather demands hearty food, perhaps grilled. And today, there would be no arguing that fact.
Gathering ingredients that can only be readily available after a recent fall holiday, the choice was made to prepare a piping hot, Turkey Pot Pie on the grill for our dinner.
The vessel of choice was a nine-inch cast iron skillet, of course. And the first task at hand was to press a bottom crust into this pan. Pot pies, as far as this griller is concerned, shall always have a bottom crust.
Ingredients can be altered to your taste, but a mostly classic combination was gathered. Two cups each of shredded, diced turkey and mixed vegetables, and about a cup of chopped mushrooms with a bit of sweet onion, just because I wanted too.
These were all added together in a bowl and thoroughly mixed.
This mixture is poured into the skillet. It might look like it’s going to overflow, but let’s not worry about that for now. It’ll settle on the grill.
The next part is important, if for no other reason than it involves gravy. Gravy! You have to have gravy, right?
The aforementioned gravy, either pre made or a recipe of your own, or perhaps a combination of both, should be slowly poured over the mixture, allowing it to soak into the filling.
Now, like a fine gift, wrap the top of the skillet in another crust, sealing the edges in some way, by using a fork, your fingers, or that fancy shmancy pie crust crimper that’s hanging out in the gadget drawer. Cut a few slits in the crust to allow the steam to escape, and then wrap the edge of the pie in aluminum foil, to keep it from prematurely burning.
Off to the grill we go. Indirect heat, around 375 degrees, for a total of fifty to fifty-five minutes. I added a couple good chunks of applewood for some mild smoke.
Cover the grill and let this skillet of goodness bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, and then rotate it for even baking. About ten minutes before the pie will be done, take the aluminum foil off the edges, and brush the top crust with a beaten egg yolk, or perhaps some milk to get that nice glaze on the crust. It’ll make a difference.
When the crust is deliciously browned, pull the skillet off of the grill and set aside for at least fifteen minutes.
This will give you time to think, time to ponder a bit, and time to take in the fresh air. So many people pack their grills in for the winter, and yet, cold weather grilling can be extremely satisfying. The crisp, clean environment after a freshly fallen snow is so refreshing that you should embrace the changing seasons and simply adjust your grilling choices.
By taking the time to just listen and observe, I could hear the nearby geese as they continued their trek across the sky. Occasionally, the snow released and fell from the branches, hitting the ground with that familiar “splat”. You just never know what the season will bring, as I was reminded of as I looked down at the mound of snow at my feet.
After waiting patiently, it was time to serve and enjoy our Turkey Pot Pie. The flaky texture of the crust balances the smoothness and creaminess of the turkey and vegetables. The aroma screams comfort food, and as the sun retreats for this day, we found our chance to sit and enjoy this smoked, homestyle meal.
“Because Life Is Better Wood Fired”