Musical pairing – The Quidditch Match by John Williams

I am completely in love with the world of Harry Potter. I wear my Gryffindor scarf with pride. I pick up sticks when I’m on walks with my husband just to wave them in the air at him and say “Expelliarmus!” When we visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last October, I literally went running through the park like some sort of crazed madwoman just to get to the ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.” If there was an Olympic record for sprinting toward a theme park ride, I would be polishing the gold right now. And I may or may not have tripped a few kids along the way . . . do you think that would get me disqualified?

So when I went search for Harry Potter-based recipes, I was excited to find so many. But the one that seemed the most magical to me was the ‘Quidditch Player’s Pie’ – ground beef with cooked carrots simmered in an onion gravy and baked for 15 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees to set a mashed potato crust. Only recently have I learned about the world of European meat pies. We just moved to Florida and our first dinner out was at an Irish restaurant called “Cookes of Dublin” where I had a fish pie. It was delightful. I mean, why have your meat and vegatables on a plate like a sucker when you could be eating them in a pie? It’s genius.

Quidditch Pie is one of the many culinary delights that I imagine Molly Weasley bakes in her charming cottage kitchen amidst all of her knitted potholders and dark wooden furniture. She is Mother Earth incarnate and I picture all her boys tromping in from practicing Quidditch on a cool fall day. This is what she would serve them. When I imagined baking a Quidditch Pie, I thought I would be flitting around the kitchen just like her. But there’s one key difference between me and Molly Weasely.

She uses magic.

Anyone can be a great cook if they can wave a wand at their ingredients. For me, Quidditch Pie went a little bit less than smooth. The mashed potatoes for the crust went okay, but that’s probably because they were instant. Instant mashed potatoes . . . now that’s real magic. The carrots I microwaved. No problemo. But the blasted gravy…the gravy always gets me. My onion soup whisked with a bit of milk and a tablespoon of flour never thickened.  But hey, that would be hiding under the mashed potato crust anyway, so nobody would be any the wiser about my runny “gravy”. When gravy goes wrong, I just call it ‘sauce.’ Problem solved. Or should I say, ‘Mischief Managed?’

First I spooned the ground beef/carrot/onion sauce mixture into a lasagna pan. The mixture spread a bit too thin, so I put it in a more shallow glass casserole dish. The mashed potato crust is what I was most excited about. Because I had a trick up my sleeve. I was going to use an icing bag and tip to make it look fabulous. I recalled that my fish pie from Cookes had that fancy swirly quality to it’s crust. I wanted to achieve a similar effect. But those pesky laws of physics got in my way.

The icing bags I was using were super thin. Whereas the mashed potatoes were piping hot. You can guess what happened. My hands are still a little tender. I let everything cool and tried it again. This time the mashed potatoes were too thick to push through the tiny tip probably meant to construct delicate little roses out of sugary icing. So I gave up and spooned out the mashed potatoes. The way I figured, fundamentally it should all taste the same anyway, even if the crust did look like some kind of kitchen accident.

I slid the Quidditch Pie into the oven, settled into a comfy chair to watch “The Prisoner of Azkaban” and waited for the results. Just in the nick of time, a thunderstorm broke loose. I love it when the world conspires to add a little atmosphere. When the oven timer sounded, I let the pie cool for a little while. Then I spooned out two heaping helpings for my husband and myself. And…

The Quidditch Pie was wonderful. It was savory and salty. An entire meal in one casserole dish. I could almost feel Molly Weasley patting me on the shoulder and giving me that warm motherly smile. “Well done!” she told me in my imagination, “And all without a stitch of magic. How impressive.”

I didn’t tell her about the instant mashed potatoes . . .


Audrey Brown is a freelance journalist and voice over artist. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing and was once mentioned in the Huffington Post by documentary director Mark Edlitz for her feminist thoughts on Princess Leia’s gold bikini. Audrey lives in Florida with her husband Jake and it is entirely possible that you will see the two of them running wild through Walt Disney World on any given day. If you wave at them, just remember that the Vulcan hand signal is just their way of waving back and not an obscene gesture. You can find Audrey at her blog Born For Geekdom.


  1. Pingback: Top Ten Harry Potter Recipes I’m Dying to Make | Dog-Eared & Dog-Tagged

  2. Diana Moore

    How Clever of you!
    i have been looking for a recipe for our harry potter movie nights on Friday and i could never find one that my daughter liked..Did you have much trouble with the time?…Sadly my oven does not work and i have only an electric counter oven to use. I also have some fresh carrots and celery. Would that be too much? Please let me know I am just dying to try this!

    • Hi Diana ~ I haven’t tried to bake these in a toaster oven but I think it would work; and yes, feel free to add extra veg if you’d like!

  3. What can I use as a substitute for the ikea meatball gravy? I can’t find an ikea in the area! But I want to try this so bad!!

    • Hi Meg ~

      You can Google ‘Swedish Meatball Gravy’ or ‘Swedish Meatball Sauce’ and there will be several recipes available; some will use soy sauce, some don’t – all are quite easy to put together and don’t take much time.

      Elise over at Simply Recipes also has a great recipe – the link is here:

      Hope that helps and thanks so much for the question!

  4. Andrew Caporale

    I hate to tell you this, but this is just a cottage pie, (a variant of shepherds pie) with jalepenos added.

  5. With jalapenos added to the brew this has to be truly magical!

  6. I am very impressed! Nice job, Bravo!

  7. I am going to try this recipe. I love shepherd’s pie. I plan to use ground venison and make roux onion gravy. Yeah, I killed the deer and grew up in Louisiana. Talk about good! I too am a member of the Harry Potter fan club.


    LOVED finding this recipe! Had no idea Potter-based recipes existed! Going to try this on the kids when they’re back from band camp next week. Where can I find others like this? Love your web site.

  9. You and my boys would get along very well. They brandish their wands (made out of chopsticks), bellowing spells at the top of their lungs. They would be thrilled if I made them a Quidditch Players’ Pie!

  10. Philip Shepherd

    We muggles call this “Shepherd’s pie”…….

  11. Ooh… Love this! Hubs and I are *finally* going to see the last Harry Potter movie this evening, and now I’m wishing I had all the ingredients to make this for dinner. I’ll have to add it to the menu for our next Harry Potter marathon with friends. 🙂

  12. Oh I love Harry Potter! And I love shepherd’s pie. 🙂 Yesterday i walked by a bar that’s next to a movie theater and it was advertising “Penny Hogwarts Shots!”. What in the world could that be?!

  13. Love the individual cast iron pans! So cute 🙂
    My kids would love this!!

  14. Sarah Harding

    In England that is a cottage pie…

  15. What a gorgeous pie – and you wear your HP love with pride, girl!

    • Thanks Kristen! I just went to Leaky Con yesterday and reveled in all the Harry Potter goodness. It felt like going home! Meeting all those people with similar interests was healthy and made me feel a lot less freakish.

  16. This is not unlike something my mom and her mom before her made. The quintessential one dish meal. Don’t tell but I used to make it for my kids with boxed potato flakes. Yes I did.

    Now the Harry Potter thing. My oldest daughter has been Harry Potter crazy from the very beginning when she was a freshman in college. So over the top Harry that the whole thing turned me off. I’m still not a crazed fan but I was so sick a couple of years ago I was off my feet for two solid weeks. I did enjoy this. Read a book, watch the movie and so on.

    But she can still annoy me when a new movie is coming out. No, I am not going to stand in line for the first showing at midnight. But hoping those of you that do have a great time!

  17. Great writing! We’ve been to couple of the spots where they filmed Harry Potter few years back in England. One was the flying scene. Was pretty magical.

  18. Pingback: Small Plate: Harry Potter Friday

  19. You and Bridget at Bake at 350 need to hang out and have a Harry Potter party. Both of you gals are serving up some seriously great eats!

  20. There are so many Harry Potter desserts out there…. it’s great to see something savory, too!

    • I’m so new to the food blogging world and I was so excited to see that people everywhere want to make the magic into a reality! Sometime in October I want to have a Harry Potter party and make all the food I can from the movies. I’m tracking down prop pitchers and stuff right now!

  21. Did you just say you moved to Florida?

  22. Oh my goodness, this looks AMAZING. I’ve bookmarked it and totally plan to make it the first chance I get!!

  23. Great savory pie. Looks comforting!

  24. There are some foods that just sound so good but that I can’t eat because I don’t eat meat… But I have had vegetarian shepherd’s pie and it is divine. Love the creativity here, D! These movie bites are some of my favorites 🙂

  25. I know nothing about Harry…but I have to say that looks delicious!

    I keep hearing how awesome the new Harry exhibit at Universal Studios is…have you checked it out yet?

  26. I so agree with you about instant. Not only are they gross, there’s no nutritional value! blech!

  27. Oh I am really liking this. I adore Sheprherd’s Pie and your twist on it is grand! You must come to Europe so I can introduce you to the world of European food!

  28. I can’t wait to see the new Harry Potter movie, and your Quidditch Player’s Pie looks perfect, even if it wasn’t what you originally intended!

  29. It’s 10:17 p.m. and I now now s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g. I want this. And I want this now. Those photos are divine.

  30. I haven’t followed Harry potter but I can tell you that this is making me reconsider that! Looks so cheesy and delicious. Reminds me of my mom’s Shepherds pie

  31. Jake Williams

    Audrey, this is your best Movie Bites blog yet. I love your honesty in your trials in re-creating this dish. Makes me want to wear a Gryffindor scarf, draw a lightning scar on my forehead, and eat an entire plate of Quidditch Pie.

    • You eat yours on a plate? But isn’t a casserole dish just a bigger plate with higher sides? You mean I’m not supposed to eat DIRECTLY out of it???

  32. This is hilarious! I love the sound track. I just got up and twirled around imagining eating this pie!

    Okay so there was no twirling, but the imagination? YEP.

  33. I dont know anything about Harry Potter, but I know lots about cheese. And this looks so good covered in some glorious cheese I just might have to make it! 🙂

  34. So, I am TOTALLY making this….love the recipe, love this post, love Harry Potter. And Deb, I’m sorry, but I think I have a packet or two of instant mashed potatoes in my pantry. 😉

  35. Oh my … that looks good. Real good.

  36. i use ziploc bags with the corner cut off to pipe things. so much easier. and to make that onion soup become a gravy, get a tablespoon of butter just bubbling in a sauce pot, and then with whisk at the ready, sprinkle in a tablespoon of floor and whisk like crazy til it gets thick and starts to darken slightly. then slowly whisk in your soup and bring it a boil and let it boil till it starts to thicken.

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