This post has been in-the-works for several weeks now. I was immediately inspired when I first read Chef Michael White’s recipe for these vegetarian pot pies in Food and Wine magazine.
You see, I usually cook dinner for our friends, Rob and Cathy, on Sunday nights and then we watch Amazing Race together. Cathy is a vegetarian so I’m always on the look-out for new recipes to make for her. Meanwhile, Toby is a meat LOVER, so it’s a challenge to keep everyone happy on Sunday night. Well, friends, I’ve found the secret to keeping everyone happy! After his first bite of these rich, creamy, meatless pies, Toby declared, “This is the BEST thing you’ve ever created!” and then he raised his glass to toast to me. WOW!
Here are the reasons this post has taken so long, and the revised recipe that earned me that toast.
Issue #1: I tend to forget to read all the way through a recipe to gauge how much time I need to set aside to prepare said meal. Once I do, I typically try to prep as much as possible ahead of time. This is one of those recipes. I had all of the groceries on-hand, but when I started reading the recipe that Sunday morning before running out for a day of activities, I realized I was going to need more time. (We ordered pizza that night). The key to this recipe is to prep the stock and dough for crust the day before you want to make the pot pies.
Issue #2: The way the recipes were written in the magazine, the cooking times were off and I used way too many pots and pans. Don’t you just HATE that? For example: the recipe called for a “large, deep skillet” when making the pot pie filling. I should’ve known better because not only was I going to fill the skillet with 8 cups of mushrooms and all the other veggies, I would then need room for 6 cups of stock. So, I had to dump everything into a Dutch oven and wash a large skillet before I could proceed. I’ve written the recipe below to correct for all of these issues.
Issue #3: As far as I’m concerned, most recipes are too conservative when it comes to seasoning. Being the Top Chef fan that I am, I know that a poorly seasoned dish is the quickest way to hearing those deadly words from Padma: “Please pack you knives and go”. So, I’ve adjusted the seasonings to my taste (lots more herbs and some cream to smooth it all out).
I would highly recommend making the stock a day or two in advance of making the pot pies. If you really want to prep ahead, you could also cut up all the veggies for the pot pie filling and make the dough a day in advance (see the recipe for make ahead instructions).
- 1 large baking potato
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 cup frozen pearl onions
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 stick butter, melted
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped sage
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1½ lbs. fresh mushrooms (cremini, shitake, portobello) stemmed and chopped
- ¾ cup Marsala
- ½ cup flour
- 6 cups Mushroom Stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Parker House Roll Dough
- Preheat oven to 400°F and cover a baking sheet with foil.
- Toss the potatoes, pearl onions and carrots with 3 Tbsp. melted butter on the foil covered pan. Spread them out and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, stirring once, about 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 350°F.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 Tbsp. of the butter. Add the diced onion, sage, thyme and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the Marsala and cook until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the entire mixture. Stir well while cooking to brown the flour, about 1 minute.
- Add the Mushroom Stock and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the roasted vegetables and the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the filling into 8, one cup ramekins or 4, two cup soup bowls.
- Divide the roll dough into either 8 or 4 equal pieces. Working with one ball at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to a circle 2 inches larger than the diameter of your bowls. Drape the dough over the rim of the ramekin, or bowl, so there's a 1-inch overhang all around. Trim any excess dough. Brush the dough rounds with the remaining 2 Tbsp. of melted butter and arrange the pot pies on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the pot pies for about 30 minutes, until the crust is deeply golden and risen, turning the pan halfway through baking.