The number of ingredients for beef pot pie varies greatly given the complexity of the recipe, but must include the beef, vegetables, seasonings, gravy base and components for the crust. For example, Stephen Smith's Food Network recipe calls for 21 ingredients in all. Individual recipes can be tailored to adapt to specific needs, including portion size, ingredient availability and healthful substitution.
When selecting the beef for pot pies, cuts drawn from the rump, top and bottom roasts are common. However, chuck roast and sirloin tips are also used. Pot pies tend to go well with root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips and parsnips. Aromatics, including garlic, onion and celery, are frequently used to enhance flavor or build gravies. Gravy bases typically come from beef bullion, stock or broth thickened with a flour roux or slurry, although some recipes also call for red wine.
A variety of additional flavor enhancers may be introduced to beef pot pie, including bacon rashers, which are desired for both their meat and fat content. For heat, some recipes call for small amounts of pepper, such as cayenne. For an herbaceous note, Smith's recipe calls for fresh parsley, thyme and bay leaf to be sealed in a cheese cloth to simmer with the gravy. Typical pot pie crusts require butter, vegetable shortening, salt, flour and ice water. Check individual recipes for the appropriate flour variety,