Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Better Vegetable Pot Pie

A couple of years ago I shared my vegetable pot pie recipe here.  After being inspired by my new favorite cooking magazine, Cooks Illustrated, I thought I would share my new and improved recipe.  I kept the filling similar, but added some key ingredients - mushrooms, soy sauce, and tomato paste, which really bring out a more meaty flavor that a vegetable pot pie is missing.  The other big change is the Parmesan crumble that is added to the top of the filling, instead of the puff pastry I usually use.  I have always wanted to my own crust, but after doing all the prep work, who really wants to add homemade pie crust in the mix?  Cooks Illustrated's topping adds great texture, so it is worth the extra 15 minutes.  I didn't take many photos this go around, but pot pie never looks that appetizing in a photograph to me anyway, better I didn't.

Ingredients for Vegetable Pot Pie, makes one 9-inch deep dish pie:

-3/4 cup vegetable stock
-3/4 cup whole milk
-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon soy sauce
-1 teaspoon tomato paste
-2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
-3 tablespoons parsley leaves, minced
-Salt to taste
-Fresh ground black pepper to taste
-1 leek, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
-1 shallot, thinly sliced
-3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices crosswise
-3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
-2 small celery ribs, thinly sliced
-1 cup green beans, trimmed, and cut into bite-size pieces
-10 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps wiped clean and sliced thinly
-1/2 cup frozen peas
-1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

Ingredients for Parmesan Crumble Topping, taken from Cooks Illustrated, makes more than enough for 9-inch pie dish:

-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-3/4 teaspoon table salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
-1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
-3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Begin by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F, and bringing a pot of water to a boil for the potatoes.  Add the cut potatoes into the water once it is boiling and cook until just tender.  Remove from water and season well with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the crumble.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in large bowl.  Sprinkle butter pieces over the top of flour mixture.  Using fingers, rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal.  Stir in Parmesan.  Add cream and stir until just combined.  Crumble mixture into irregularly shaped pieces ranging from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch each onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake until fragrant and starting to brown, about 10 to 13 minutes.  Set aside for later use.

For the filling, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven (or stock pot if you don't have a Dutch oven) over medium heat until oil is shimmering.  Add shallot, leek, carrots, celery, green beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from pot and mix with potatoes.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add mushrooms and cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their juices, about 5 minutes.  Remove cover and add soy sauce and tomato paste.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has evaporated, mushrooms are well-browned, and dark bits have formed on the surface of the pan, about 5 minutes.  Transfer mushrooms to the cooked vegetables.  Set aside.

Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium heat.  When foaming subsides, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in vegetable stock and milk.  Bring to a simmer, scraping browned bits, then continue to simmer until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons parsley.

Stir in vegetable mixture, peas, and corn into the sauce.  Pour mixture into pie plate and scatter with Parmesan crumble.  Bake on rimmed baking sheet until filling is bubbling and topping is well browned, 12-15 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of parsley and serve.
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1 comment:

  1. Looks really yummy. What an interesting crust. :)