Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vegetarian Pot Pie

I have no interesting story to tell about this recipe. I just wanted a rustic, homey, comforting meal and the image of a pot pie popped into my brain and wouldn't get out.

If you aren't a vegetarian and wouldn't touch seitan (or mock duck) with a 10-foot pole,you can simply omit it, OR substitute any other meat you like. Some shredded rotisserie chicken would be awesome in here. But the whole "meat and potatoes" image of seitan and spuds was tantalizing to me, especially paired with such down home ingredients like carrots, peas, and pearl onions.

The gravy piece of pot pie is scary if you're not a big cook. It scared me the first time I made it (and I still marvel when it actually thickens and works!). But all you need to do is cook some flour into some buttery veggies, then slowly stir in warm stock and/or cream. It will thicken like magic as it cooks, I promise.

Also, my recipe below makes a TON of filling. I probably could have made 3 pies. You could cut it down OR you can embrace it and refrigerate or freeze the extra to make more pot pies later.

Let's talk crust now...this combo of veggies and gravy would be great with a topping of pie crust, puff pastry, biscuits, or even just scooped over plain toast. Confession: I tried it over toast and it ruled. But tonight I had a box of Pillsbury pie crusts in the freezer that I didn't want to go to waste so I did a partially baked crust on bottom like a traditional pie. Also, my pie crusts were freezer burnt and cracked apart so for the top I had to improvise. I salvaged as much crust as possible with leaf-shaped cookie cutters. The end result was a pot pie as beautiful to look at as it was delicious to eat.

I served my pot pie with some chopped red leaf lettuce, finely chopped Braeburn apples, sunflower seeds, grated parmesan, salt, and pepper.

The vinaigrette was Trader Joe's orange muscat champagne vinegar, olive oil, and a tiny bit of dijon mustard.

Vegetarian Pot Pie
4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken or beef stock if that's your thing)
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, sliced and rinsed
2 white starchy potatoes, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 bag frozen pearl onions
3 bay leaves, salt, and pepper
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup half and half (optional)
fresh grated nutmeg
1 can mock duck - or seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces (substitute any other meat you like here!)
1/2 bag frozen green petite peas
2 pie crusts or 1 sheet puff pastry or biscuits (homemade, if you like!)
1 egg white

In a medium pot, heat vegetable stock and keep warm.

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add leeks, potato, carrots, pearl onions, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes or until all veggies are soft.

Sprinkle flour over softened veggies. Cook and stir flour into veggies for 3 minutes. Add warmed vegetable stock slowly while stirring, then raise heat to medium-high and stir to thicken. Add cream or half and half and nutmeg, then cook 5 more minutes to thicken a little more. The gravy should coat the back of a spoon. Add seitan and peas and stir to warm through. Remove bay leaves. Test for seasoning and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Layer 9 inch pie plate with a pie crust and remove excess crust. Bake 5 minutes. Add "guts" and top with another pie crust (or puff pastry or biscuit dough). Brush with egg whites and make sure there are venting holes (pierce with knife or fork). Bake 25-30 minutes or until dough is cooked thoroughly.

1 comment:

  1. Too perfect! I may be requesting this for my chilly November visit! ;)! !xoXOxo!