The other day I was reading this blog post and decided to add the author’s Vegetarian Pot Pie recipe idea to my meal plan this week. Since we don’t eat much meat around here, it seemed like the perfect way to make a hearty vegetarian meal that would yield leftovers. I have also been itching to practice my pie crust skills.
Here is what I did, should you want to re-create it.
First I prepared the crust dough, with help from my little sous-chef, Simon. You use flour, butter (the original recipe called for shortening), salt, and cold water.
In a bowl I measured out 1 1/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, and added 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sifted together with a fork. Then I took 1/3 cup of cold butter, and cut it up into tiny cubes. I tossed these into the flour mixture, and pinched and squeezed everything together with my hands until I had a crumbly mixture that had pea-sized chunks. Finally, I added four tablespoons of cold water, one at a time, until all of the dough was moistened thoroughly and could be rolled into a ball without crumbling. (The original recipe said to add one more tablespoon of water if needed, but I didn’t need to.)
I set the dough ball aside, (I recommend in the fridge to keep it firm, and to keep the butter inside cold which will aid in flaking.) and got to work on my filling.
Vegetable Pot Pie
a pat of butter
one small onion, chopped
a few cloves of garlic
one bag of frozen veggies (Mine had pea pods, zucchini, lima beans, carrots, green beans and cauliflower. I also added a sprinkle of shelled peas and some corn from other bags I had in the freezer.)
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup of stock (I used a mixture of chicken stock and vegetable stock, because I was trying to use up some that was leftover in the fridge before opening a new box…so my pie ended up not totally vegetarian.)
salt, pepper, and herbs of your liking (I used herbs de provence. As Richard mentions, keep in mind that you will not want to add much salt, or any at all, if your stock is already salty. Give your mixture a taste test before adding.)
pastry crust (either pre-made or make your own)
an egg for eggwash
In a skillet, melt the butter, then sweat the onions until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the frozen veggies and cook until softened. Season with herbs and pepper.
Toss flour over the veggie mixture to coat thoroughly. (I measured out a 1/4 cup, and added a little at a time, stirring each bit in little by little.) Pour stock in 1/4 cup at a time until the consistency is right. You are looking for the liquid to thicken and be like gravy. (I ended up adding 1 cup total.) Give a taste and add salt if necessary.
Take pan off heat, and pour the filling mixture into your pie pan.
Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface until it is big enough to cover the pie pan. Lay it over the top, and cut off the excess all the way around. Add some of the extra dough back on, around the edges of the pie, to build up a little ridge, and then pinch all the way around to make a fluted crust. (My fluting was pretty rough.) Poke a few holes in crust for ventilation. Whisk the egg and baste a thin layer onto the crust. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden brown.
I had a bit more pastry crust than I needed, so I got a little bit fancy and used a cookie cutter to cut out a rabbit shape (since Easter is this week), and I also cut some little carrot shapes out with a knife to decorate my pie. This part was so much fun!
The pie was yummy, and I will definitely be making this again, with various filling combinations. When we someday join a CSA this recipe would be a great way to use some of the seasonal produce.
Simon gave his pie a shot, but mostly ate the crust. I made myself feel better about this by reminding myself the crust was at least coated in the nutritious stock. Also, he is rarely picky, and therefore crust for dinner this one time won’t hurt him.