Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ham Pot Pie, A Favorite Freezer Meal

I love having a fully stocked freezer, filled with enough meals to help me get through the weeks leading up to Christmas.  With so many evening activities, it's awesome to have meals ready to throw in the oven or in the crockpot. 

My current favorite freezer meal is Ham Pot Pie.  Crockpot meals that include chicken are so plentiful they get old fast!  If I don't have a meal we really want to eat, we'll end up eating out.   

This is actually a chicken pot pie recipe, and I just substituted ham (you could also use turkey).  I found this recipe from a site that no longer exists, but luckily I managed to hang on to the recipe.  So note to self: if you find a recipe you love on Pinterest, be sure and copy it because you never know when a site or blog could disappear!

Ham Pot Pie
4 cups cubed cooked ham
4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 (16oz) bags frozen mixed veggies (I use frozen corn and peas)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup flour
2.5 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups milk
9" round pie crusts (how many you need depends on if you want crust on top and bottom)
disposable 9" pie plates or 9" square pans
foil and gallon size freezer baggies for storage  

1. Boil potatoes in large stockpot. Add in veggies during last 5 minutes. Add in ham during last 2 minutes.  Drain potatoes, veggies and ham.  Return to stockpot.

2. In large skillet or soup pot, melt butter. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in flour, salt, thyme and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk.
3. Bring broth mixture to boil; cook and stir until thickened. Pour sauce into stockpot with ham and veggies, stirring to coat.   
4. Add crusts to your preference.  I like to cut some carbs, so I only use one pie crust on top of my pie filling.  If you want a two crust pie, line a pie plate with single crust on bottom.  Add pie filling and top with an additional crust.  Be sure to cut slits in the top crust!
6. Cover pies with foil and freeze.  Or, freeze filling and add crust later to thawed mixture.
Bake fresh or thawed pie at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.  You may need to cover the edges of your crust with foil to prevent it from getting too dark.  
To bake a frozen pie, bake in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for one hour or until golden brown.

This recipe makes about 4 pies.  It's a little bit more work than a typical freezer meal, so we usually eat one for dinner and I'll freeze the other three.  This time I only had one square disposable tin, so I made a complete one to freeze, and froze the contents for two more in freezer baggies.  I added little Christmas tree cutouts to my pies since a round crust didn't fit into a square pan and there was leftover crust.  I wasn't getting fancy, just wanted all the crust I had coming to me!  Plus, I knew trees would make my daughter smile.

Both ways freeze great.  The filling thaws faster, which might be nice if you're in a hurry.  Otherwise, try to remember to pull a pie out the day before and let it thaw in the fridge.  I think it's much simpler than cooking a solid frozen pie.






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