I swore I would never do it but never say never.  So, believe it or not, I decided to offer a free-form tart class.  I thought, "no one is going to sign up for this class."  But, again, be careful what you wish for because I had a class filled to the brim with people eager to learn the secrets of pie baking.  My goal was to teach them how to make a good crust and that was accomplished.  The rest was pretty chaotic for me but the class apparently had a blast.

So, call them galettes like the French or crostata like the Italians, call them whatever you like but they are probably the simplest form of pie your can make.  The beauty of these little darlings is that you don't have to move them around.  You roll them out between two sheets of parchment paper, place the paper on a sheet pan and into the oven you go.  Et voila!  PIE! 

This is the meaty version we tackled in class.  And, you don't have to make your own pie crust.  There are some fairly decent store-bought varieties just use your favorite or even try puff pastry...it's great, too!

Beef and Potato Galette

 Makes one, 9” galette or two, 4 - 5" galettes

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

1½ lb chuck roast, cut into 1” cubes

5 – 6 baby Yukon Gold or red potatoes, parcooked

1 large egg

1 tsp heavy cream

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Pie dough for one 9” pie

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the beef season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add onion slices and continue to cook until onion is softened.  Add potatoes and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and cream.

Roll the dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment paper into a 14-inch round, loosening the parchment from the dough occasionally and adding a bit more flour if it sticks. Transfer on the parchment to a baking sheet; remove and discard the top sheet of parchment.

Leaving a 2-inch border, mound beef and potato mixture in the center of the dough round.

Fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling. If the dough is sticking to the parchment, refrigerate it for 5 to 10 minutes, and then continue folding. Brush the folded dough with the egg wash. Bake, rotating the baking sheet once half-way through, until the crust is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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