Quick and Delicious Popover Pizza – a.k.a. Upsidedown Pizza

Back in 1999, when I was such a neophyte with computers that I didn’t even know how to use spell check, I made a cookbook containing many of my twin sons’ favorite recipes. The cookbook, aptly named The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes, was a big hit with my guys and they  still use it, and a subsequent Christmas cookbook, fairly often.

Popover Pizza was always a big favorite of my sons’ – and their friends.  If you happen to have leftover meatballs and sauce, prepare the Popover Pizza with that. Don’t happen to have leftovers?  All you’ll need is a pound of ground beef, a jar of prepared spaghetti sauce and an onion. Plus a few spices like oregano – whatever you’d like.

The meat and sauce are spread on the bottom of 9′ x  13′ pan, lots of shredded mozzarella cheese is sprinkled on top, then the popover batter is poured over the mozzarella, followed by a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan.  Pop the Popover Pizza into the oven for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the the popover ‘crust’ is puffed and  lightly browned. Et voila, dinner is served.

PS  – As I type this I’m staying with two of my grandchildren while my son M. and his wife are vacationing in Spain. Yesterday I broke out my son’s copy of The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes and made Popover Pizza.  Judging from the stains and drips on the page, it seems Popover Pizza is  big hit with the new generation of Roys as well.  Enjoy!!

Follow this link to ‘Forget Takeout Pizza – Thirty Minute Pizza with Homemade Crust

thirty-minute-pizza-meatball-version-myyellowfarmhouse-com

small red heart

Oven at 400F         Buttered 9′ x 13′ pan            Bake for 35 – 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 – 3 cups leftover meatballs and sauce     ++  chop meatballs into chunks
  •      Don’t have leftover meatballs and sauce?
  •                1 lb. ground beef
  •                1 small onion, chopped
  •                1 jar purchased spaghetti sauce
  •                1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup milk     ++ Full fat or 2% is best
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD

Butter a 9′ x 13′ pan

– If you have leftover sauce and meatballs, spread 2 – 3 cups of sauce and chopped up meatballs on bottom pan.

– No Leftovers?  —  Fry 1 lb. ground beef and one onion, chopped, in a large skillet. Remove any fat from pan and discard.  Add one jar spaghetti sauce, some herbs, such as 1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs –  any herbs and spices you wish.   Simmer sauce, uncovered, for 10 minutes to 15 minutes – stirring occasionally.  Spread beef and sauce mixture on bottom of pan.

Sprinkle two cups shredded Mozzarella cheese over meat and sauce.

  Popover Topping

In a medium bowl beat -on high – 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs and 1 Tbs. olive oil until foamy, about a minute.  Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp salt   Beat on high until mixture is thoroughly blended. Slowly pour batter over mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.

Bake at 400F for between 35- 45 minutes.  The meat and sauce with be bubbling and the popover topping should be lightly browned and puffy.  If you check and the popover topping isn’t puffy and lightly browned, just bake it a bit longer.  ++  The amount of time needed will depend upon your oven – and your pan. If using a glass pan, you will probably need the full 45 minutes simply because glass doesn’t conduct heat in the same way as metal.  (I’m making a note to myself to tell my son that!)   

6 - Popover Pizza a.k.a. Upside-Down Pizza - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Mini Shepherd’s Pies (Also known as Cottage Pies)

Mini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!  www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

If you have parchment paper, place a strip, long enough so that it hangs out on each side, in each section of the muffin tin.  This will help when you remove the mini pies.

I had planned to share these with my neighbors…. but ended up eating them all – that’s how much I love them!  I based both the ground beef filling and creamy mashed potatoes on my recipe for Shepherds Pie, with a few adjustments.   – –  https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2013/01/10/shepherds-pie/

Mini Shepherds Pies are easy to make!  The recipe calls for purchased pie crust and – if you’re short on time – a 24 oz. container of ready-to-eat mashed potatoes can be used.  Making these mini pies is fun and easy – and so is eating them.

Ingredients and Method
  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts
  • 24 oz. refrigerated mashed potatoes  –  OR  –  homemade mashed potatoes
  • Homemade Mashed Potatoes
  • 5 cups cubed Yukon Gold potatoes   ++ Peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
  •  3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 – 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3+ cup milk or Half and Half     ++  I used Half and Half
  • Ground Beef & Vegetable Filling
  • 1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped  ++ About 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 lb. ground (minced) beef  ++ I used 80%
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn     ++ No need to thaw
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas    ++ No need to thaw
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste    ++ Freeze tomato paste in 1 Tbs. portions in a ziploc bag. 
  • 1 beef or chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. pepper

Place 5 cups chopped, peeled Yukon Gold potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan.  Add enough cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower heat and cover saucepan. Allow potatoes to simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until potatoes can easily be pierced with a sharp knife.  ++  It’s better to cook the potatoes longer than end up with lumpy potatoes!!  I know – Been There – Done That!

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

While potatoes are cooking, begin beef/veggie filling.  Place 1 Tbs. butter In a large non-stick skillet.  Add 1/3 cup chopped onion. Cook onions, stirring often, over medium heat until they soften.  Add 1/2 pound chopped (minced) beef.  Continue to cook until beef loses its pink color.  ++ Break up any large chunks of beef.   ++  Remove any extra grease, although I leave about 2 Tbs. – for the flavor.

Add 3/4 cup still-frozen corn and 3/4 cup still-frozen peas, 1/3 cup water, 1 Tbs. tomato paste, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/3 tsp. pepper and either a chicken or beef bouillon cube.

Mini Shepherds (Cottage) Pies - myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

Continue cooking, stirring often, for an additional 4 to 5 minutes… until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Set aside.

Now it’s time for the mini-pie crusts.  This is fun!  ++  Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before so the crusts will be soft enough to work with.

Unroll pie crusts. Roll each crust into a 12″ circle, which only takes a second ’cause the crusts are almost that big already.  Using a 4″ circle (I used the 4″ top of a plastic food container – or you could use a piece of cardboard) cut out 12 circles.

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow Farmhouse.comMini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow Farmhouse.com (2)

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Place one pie crust circle in each of the sections of a 12-cup muffin tin.  Gently press pie crust to fit.

Bake at 400F for 8 minutes.  ++ Lower oven temperature to 350F once you’ve removed muffin tin with bottom crusts from oven.

Finishing the mashed potatoes

Mini Shepherds  Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!

Drain cooked potatoes. Mash down with a potato masher.  Add 2 – 3 Tbs. butter, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and approximately 1/3 cup milk – or ‘Half ‘n Half‘ – or Single Cream – and beat with a mixer until the potatoes are creamy but still stiff enough to hold their shape on top of the beef filling.

Putting it all together

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow Farmhouse.com (3)

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, put a portion of the meat/vegetable filling in each section.  Top with 1/4 cup mashed potatoes.  ++ If you have extra mashed potatoes, add a bit more to each mini-pie.

Sprinkle with a bit of paprika to give the Mini Shepherds Pies a bit of color.  You know, part of finding a particular food delicious is often due to it’s color, so adding a bit of paprika not only makes things taste better but also gives them better eye-appeal.  You can also sprinkle on a bit of cheese!

Mini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!  myyellowfarmhouse.comMini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!  myyellowfarmhouse.com

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Bake the Mini-Shepherds Pies at  350F  for 25 – 30 minutes.  Potatoes and crust will be slightly browned.     

++ Let stand 10 minutes before serving, which helps the pie crust to not fall apart when you remove the mini-pies.  Enjoy !!

Mini Shepherds Pies - and I do mean 'pies'!  www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

++  Recipe adapted from myfridgefood.com/recipes/entree-beef/mini-meat-pies

Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pie (Also known as Tourtière) – – Filling Can Be Used as a Stuffing

 Recipe makes TWO French Canadian Meat Pies  

OR

For French Canadian Meat Stuffing – Make half the recipe. 

OR

If you prefer having extra stuffing, prepare recipe as written. Warm in a covered casserole.

 Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies  – Christmas 2016   According to my sons (and my twin brother) these were the best pies yet! 

This recipe is my mother’s mother’s and has been handed down for from mother to daughter for who-knows-how long. (My grandmother (Memere in French, but we called her Grammy) was born in Quebec in the late 1880’s. She and her family moved to Boston when she was young.  Of course our family thinks our handed-down recipe is ‘The Best French Canadian Meat Pie’.. but everyone believes their family recipe to be The Best!  Today most recipes call for a mixture of ground beef and pork.  In the Old Days, Tourtiere could be made using pork, beef, rabbit or other game, or, possibly, a mixture of different meats – whatever was available.

French Canadian Meat Pie – or Tourtiere – recipes can vary quite a bit from family to family – and each family believes theirs to be the best!!  I’ve found it extremely interesting just how many variations there are between different family recipes. My mother’s family uses ground pork, potatoes, onions – plus salt & pepper.  My husband’s family only uses hamburger, onions, salt & pepper and a bit of cloves.  And an aunt on my father’s side puts crushed cracker crumbs in her meat pies instead of potatoes.  I’ve found it doesn’t matter whose recipe you follow – to me, they’re all delicious!

 “à chacun son goût” – – ‘To each his own taste”

As far as seasonings go, except for salt & pepper, most of the flavor in Grammy Brouillette’s recipe comes from the ground pork, potato and onion mixture. My mother and my Grammy never added any spices, but I like to add a bit of poultry seasoning (Bell’s). Some meat pie recipes call for a bit of allspice, cloves or mace. Feel free to add/adjust seasonings to suit your own family’s tastes. And – if you’re lucky enough to live in Quebec – you can buy Meat Pie Seasoning!

Meat Pie is traditionally served on Christmas Eve (Réveillon) and New Year’s Eve. Our family still continues that time-honored tradition, and we look forward to it every year. I usually make four pies – two for Christmas Eve and one for each of my twin sons to take home. (And this year I’m going to ‘try’ to be organized and make the pies ahead and then freeze them.)

Joyeux Noel et une Bonne Année !! 

Oven at 400 F

Ingredients & Method

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes  (About 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 lbs. ground pork   ++ If you prefer, substitute ground beef for ground pork. Buy 80% lean.     ++  You also have the option to use half ground beef & half ground pork.
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning  – I like Bell’s.   ++  If desired, add a bit of allspice .. or a bit of mace .. or a bit of ground cloves.
  • crust enough for TWO pies – – – – – –  2 top crusts  & 2 bottoms crusts
  • one beaten egg – to spread on the 2 top crusts

– – – –

In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in a few inches of water until fully cooked. Once cooked. drain and mash. (Don’t add any butter or milk !!) Set aside.

In a large frying pan, cook the ground pork and onions until the pork is no longer pink and the onions have become fully cooked – perhaps 10 minutes or so. While cooking the pork and onions, break up the pork so you have crumbles and not hunks. (If you don’t have a big enough frying pan, cook the pork and onions in two batches.)

Grammy Brouillette's French Canadian Meat Pie - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Mix the cooked, mashed potatoes in with the pork/onion mixture. Add 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. At this point my mother used to, using a potato masher, “mash” down the mixture a bit to incorporate the potatoes into the pork/onion mixture.

Grammy Brouillett

If you wish, at this point, add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning (I like Bell’s)… or a bit of allspice .. or a bit of mace .. or a bit of ground cloves – or any combination you chose. (Feel free to adjust salt, pepper & spices to taste.)

How easy has this been – and you’re almost done!  Divide your pie filling equally between the TWO pie-crust lined pie plates. Cover each with the 2nd crust.

Crimp the edges of the pie crust with your fingers or with a fork.

++  Here’s a video which shows you how to ‘crimp’ a pie crust.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJRY1vdCMkQ

++  If you’re feeling really creative – here’s a video showing how to make ‘fancy’ crimps!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcQGja6jpbE

Spread SOME of the beaten egg onto each crust, using your fingers (my personal choice!) or with a bit of paper towel. (This isn’t necessary, but it does give the crust a lovely, golden look!!)

Bake at 400F for about 30 – 40 minutes. The crust should be a nice golden brown and the filling should be nice and hot.   Enjoy !

++ If planning to make pies a few days ahead – –  Bake pies for only 25 minutes at 400F. Allow pies to cool.  Cover with foil and refrigerate.  To Reheat Pre-Baked Pies – remove foil. Bake pies at 350F for 30 – 40 minutes, until thoroughly heated through.

How to Freeze Prepared Pies

Below are two different directions concerning ‘freezing Meat Pies’.  One set of directions comes from my Uncle George and the other comes from my Godmother, my Aunt Yvonne – both of whom ‘inherited’ the recipe from my grandmother.

You chose if you want to cook the pies & then freeze them – or freeze them without baking them.

++ A few tips from my Uncle George – How to Freeze UNBAKED Meat Pies ++

Based on my grandmother’s directions (according to my uncle) you do NOT have to bake the pies before you freeze them!!  ++ Cover the unbaked pies with foil and freeze them.  While still frozen (but with foil removed) bake the pies at 400F degree for 25 minutes.   Then lower heat to 350F and continue to bake pies until crusts are browned and pie(s) are heated through.

++  A few tips from my Aunt YvonneHow to Freeze PRE-BAKED Pies ++

++ If planning to freeze the pies, bake them for only 25 minutes at 400F.   Allow pies to cool, then cover with foil and place them in the freezer.

++ To Reheat – Allow pies to thaw in the refrigerator, then bake (with foil removed) at 350F for 30 – 40 minutes, until thoroughly heated through.

Enjoy – – Bon Appetit !!

Grammy Brouillette's French Canadian Meat Pie - My Yellow Farmhouse.com