Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Parsnip, Potato and Mushroom Pot Pie

In the last couple of weeks I have mentioned my new obsession with pot pies in a large part because of my discovery of  The Tuck Shop.  So I got it into my head that I wanted to make a pot pie at home that featured local seasonal root vegetables and some woodsy mushrooms.  I looked through my British cook books first thinking there would for sure be some thing I could use as a base to work from but alas, no.   In fact there was very little I could find anywhere and the few things I found on line just weren't making me excited.  So I struck out on my own and was very excited by the way it all turned out.  Normally I like to make a recipe a few times before I post it, but this is so straight forward and I was so pleased with it I am posting it as a recipe in process and will give you some options and ideas about how to change it as I go through the recipe.

The first thing you should notice is that in the picture above if you look in the upper left corner you can see how juicy this first version is and that I make a puff pastry crust for the top.  After some thought I've decided I like the thinness of the gravy and think that the problem is the crust, which I think should be a biscuit crust that will allow you to sop up all that delicious juice.  I'll also give you a way of making it thicker if you want.
 Parsnip, Potato and Mushroom Pot Pie

Boil 2 cups of water and reconstitute 1 cup of dried Porcini mushrooms.  Please note I do NOT mean 8 ounces, 1 cup is a large handful of mushrooms that when placed in my measuring cup where about a cup.  When I put them on my cheap scale they barely registered, so to be clear we're talking a large handful of mushrooms.  When the water has come to a boil add the mushrooms and remove from heat.  Let sit while you...

Peel and roughly chop 1 1/2 pounds of Parsnips and DON'T PEEL, but roughly chop 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes (I used Yukon Golds).  I love skins on potatoes, but if you just have to give yourself more work and are skin adverse, by all means peel them.

In a large pot of well salted water cook the Parsnips and Potatoes until are cooked but just barely they will be cooked more in the oven so they should be just soft enough when a fork in inserted, but not mushy.  

Strain and keep in a large bowl until needed.

In a large stew pot over medium heat pour 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 Tablespoons of butter, when the butter has melted add 2 large, roughly chopped, onions and sweat covered for about 8 minutes, until translucent but not browned.  Then add 2 crushed up hot red peppers, 4 tablespoons of fresh lightly chopped Rosemary leaves and 2 pounds of roughly chopped mushrooms (I used 1 1/2 of Cremini and 1/2 pound of Portobello, Shitake would be great as would any wild mushroom you want to use).  Cook the mushroom mixture for about 10 minutes so they have wilted and reduced in size considerably. 

Season this mixture well with salt and freshly grated black pepper.

Optional Step: If you want a thicker sauce strain the reconstituted Porcini and add the mushrooms to the onion mixture, reserving the liquid.  

In a sauce pan over medium heat add 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, when it has melted whisk in 3 Tablespoons of flour, stir for a few minutes until it has turned golden brown, slowly whisk in the Porcini water and 1 cup of heavy cream, remove from heat and stir into the mushroom and onion mixture.

If you don't want to thicken the mixture just stir in 1 cup of heavy cream and the Porcini (and the water they were reconstituted in) into the onion/mushroom mixture.  Add 2 Tablespoons of Tawny Port, Marsala or Sherry,  stir and lower the heat to low.

To make the biscuit mixture:

In a large bowl add 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 Teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 4 teaspoon of sugar (optional) mix briefly then add in 6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter mixing it gently (I use my hands) until the butter and flour are mixed but there are still lots of little chunks of butter.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

In a measuring cup pour 3/4 cup of heavy cream, reserve 2 Tablespoons of the cream to use for brushing onto of the biscuits. Pour the rest of the cream into the flour and butter mixture and bring together with a wooden spoon.

Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle that will more then cover your baking dish.

Add 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese into the mushroom mixture, then taste it and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, hot pepper or fresh Rosemary to your liking.

Pour the mushroom mixture into a 2 x 12 or 13 baking dish.

Grate 1/2 pound of either Tarentaise cheese (both Saxelby and the Whole Foods Bowery sell this wonderful local cheese) or Gruyere cheese and sprinkle over the mushroom filling.

Carefully place the rolled out biscuit dough over the cheesy mushroom filling.

Brush the remaining 2 Tablespoons of cream over the dough.

Cut several slashes in the dough to allow steam out.

Place in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top has nicely browned and puffed up.
Other things to think about:  You can top the pie with regular pastry dough if you'd rather do that then biscuit dough and you could also make individual pies, either by making a pre baked pie shell and a crust topping or just do a topping like I am suggesting here.  If you do a regular pie I very much encourage you to thicken the filling.

You can use any root vegetable or squash you want in this, another really good option if you didn't want to use parsnips is Celeriac.  Also if you wanted to make this super fancy I think it would taste great with a nice big black truffle chopped up into it.  Remember these days not all truffles have to be super expensive and from Italy.

Oregon Black Truffles are hound harvested by Zoe the black Lab Contact them about mail order. 

OK now go cook and let me know how it turns out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No ingredient list and it doesn't say what to do with the potatoes and parsnips. Very poor.

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