Monday, July 19, 2010

Food: Health Pockets

I wanted to make small, quick, portable meals that the rest of the family would be could grab while on the go.  Diabetes runs in the family, and while none of us have it, I don't like the idea of anyone skipping meals for the sake of expediency. 

So I dug out my old copy of 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger and turned to the section on Pocket Pies.  Michigan-style pasties, strudels, turnovers.... it seemed ideal.  Then I noticed that most of them needed pie pastry... rats.  I am not a good pastry maker.  I don't know why, but I can't seem to get the knack for a good pie crust.  Then, tucked in a corner, I noticed one that used canned biscuit dough... eureka!

Here is my loose interpretation.  You will probably need several tubes of biscuits to use up all the filling, but if you tire of rolling out the dough circles, we've discovered that the filling is equally delicious piled on a plate and scooped up with chips.

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 large russet potato, finely diced
3 Tbs. flour
1 C. spicy V8
4 cans refrigerator biscuit dough

Brown the ground beef, mashing the meat with the back of the spoon to get a fine texture, until the meat loses its pink color.  Add the onion, carrot, and potatoes.  Cook and stir until the onion starts to look translucent.  Turn the heat down to med-low.

Place the flour and V8 juice in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake vigorously for a minute, until the flour is thoroughly incorporated.  Add to the meat mixture.  Turn up the heat to high and cook and stir until the tomato mixture is thick and bubbly.  Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool, as you don't want to stuff the pockets with a hot mixture.

Meanwhile, prepare a cookie sheet with a layer of tinfoil or parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Take the biscuit circles out of the tube and using a rolling pin, roll them out into rough 4" circles about 1/8th of an inch thick.  Place a tablespoon of filling onto each circle being careful not to go all the way to the edge, and fold it in half, creating a half-moon shaped pie.  Press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal.  Place these half-moons on the prepared cookie sheet.  When you have a full pan, put them in the oven for 12 minutes.  Watch them carefully... my first batch got very brown.  Cool on wire racks and repeat until you've used up all your dough, or all your filling, whichever comes first.  Makes about 4 dozen pockets.
 **End of recipe

If you get tired of repeating this process, put the filling in the refrigerator and continue later, but let me tell you, my family ate the first batch quite quickly.  You're better off getting it all done at once.

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