Flakiest crust ever tops these turkey pot pies. “The Only Pie Crust I’m Ever Going To Use.” by Pat Farr

Monday, February 25th, 2019

Sour cream helps make this crust remarkably light and flaky…

I adapted this crust from a classic recipe.  I wasn’t sure how it would come out of the oven when I put it in…Here’s the result: it is the flakiest, tastiest I’ve ever had…would work well for pasties, fruit pies or quiche.

Recipe: The Only Pie Crust I’m Ever Going To Use 


  • 2-1/2 c     All purpose flour
  • 1/2 c         Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c         Shortening
  • 1 t             Salt
  • 8 T           Ice water
  • 1/2 c        Sour cream

Sift the flour and salt together.  Cut the butter and shortening into the flour mix until it becomes small (tiny, that is) chunks.  With a fork, stir the water into the blend and incorporate fully.  Stir in the sour cream and form the dough into a ball.  Refrigerate for an hour.  For a fruit pie you can add 2 T granulated sugar, but it’s not necessary.  You can also add a little more salt if you’d like it a bit more savory.

Form six balls and roll into 6-1/2″ rounds.  This (obviously) makes enough for six six-inch pot pies.  It’s also just enough for a top and bottom crust on an apple pie (my personal favorite fruit pie…) or for a dozen Yorkshire Pasties (here).

Use it with you favorite pot-pie filling.  Here’s mine:

Recipe:  Turkey Pot Pies


  • 2 lbs.     Cooked moist turkey breast
  • 1 lb.       Tiny baby carrots or chopped carrots
  • 1 c          Chopped onions
  • 1 c          Chopped Celery
  • 1c           Or more frozen peas
  •                Garlic, sage, pepper to taste
  •                Enough rich chicken stock to barely cover veggies (less peas)
  •                Flour and water slurry to thicken

Simmer the veggies (less peas) and spices in the chicken stock until they are just barely tender.  Add the turkey and bring to a boil.  Add the slurry and stir until very thick.  You can add a little half and half but keep the stock very thick.  Add the peas and simmer until they are warmed through.  You can cool it now to use later or ladle into pot pie bowls immediately.

Top with The Only Pie Crust I’m Ever Going To Use rounds and bake at 425-degrees until golden brown, check at 15 minutes…

How to be a Hero: Making Shepherds’ Pie. by Pat Farr

Saturday, April 19th, 2014


Every now and then I am going to add something that is nothing to do with policy, strategy or news.  Here’s a sample:

                       SHEPHERDS’ PIE

My mom always called it “cottage pie”–likely because it was made with beef not lamb.  I actually never heard of “shepherds’ pie” until I moved to the United States.

It doesn’t have to be plain or rugged.  This recipe allows for a great deal of latitude in ingredients and timing–not unlike effective policy making as I have tried to practice it at the local and state level.

Shepherds' pie April 13 2014

I made this particular version one Sunday in April 2014 for our traditional Sunday Dinner.


  •   2lb   Ground Sirloin
  •   3lb.  Russet Potatoes, mashed (making the potatoes is a critical step in the perfect pie)
  •   1-1/2c.  Chopped Carrots
  •   1c.  Chopped Onions
  •   1c.  Chopped Celery
  •   1/2c.  Frozen Peas
  •   1/2c.  Frozen Corn
  •   1c.  Asparagus Spears (or your choice of green veggie)
  •   4c.  Rich Beef Stock
  •   1/4c.water and 3T flour, smoothed together
  •   Ground Pepper
  •   Minced Garlic
  •   Butter
  •   Paprika
  •   Mushroom Gravy

Brown the beef in a large sock pan or sauce pan.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and spices.  Stir and cook until the onions are clear.  Add the beef stock and simmer like soup until the carrots and celery are tender.  Add the flour/water mix and thicken.  Add the peas and corn and simmer until all is warm.  This can now be set aside or refrigerated until cool.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-inch or so cubes   Rinse them until the water is clear.  Boil in salted water until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain, reserving 2c of the water.  Add 4T of butter and about 3/4 c half and half.  Whip with hand held mixer or in a KitchenAid food processor.  Allow to cool with a lid on.

In an oval 4″ deep casserole, ladle in about 3″ of the meat and vegetables from the soup.  Spread the asparagus on top evenly.  Place the potatoes in a 1-gallon zip-lock bag and cut out a 1″ triangle from the corner.  Pipe the potatoes evenly over the meat and vegetable mixture.  Spread with a fork, forming furrows and peaks.  Shake paprika on the surface and place in a 325 degree oven until the top of the potatoes begins to firm.  Brush melted butter over the top and place under the broiler until the top becomes golden brown.

Serve with mushroom gravy (my preference).  YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY A HERO!

Enjoying Sunday Dinner:  Shepherds' (or cottage) pie with Dad and Lois, October 2013.

Enjoying Sunday Dinner: Shepherds’ (or cottage) pie with Dad and Lois, October 2013.