Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Root Vegetable Pot Pie


As the weather gets colder, I'm in the mood for baking. Root vegetables are so hearty and packed with nutrition, they're the perfect fall meal.

You can mix and match any kind of root vegetables to fill this savory pie (or even kohlrabi, which is technically not a root, but has a similar texture). We just had our first frost, which makes parsnips all the sweeter. Carrots also keep beautifully stored in the ground throughout the winter. I've bought some gorgeous red turnips this year from Majestic Valley Farm - many people are afraid of turnips, including myself, but they lend a delicious earthy note to the mix. And of course, potatoes... not all potatoes are created equal! The potato varieties you can buy from local farmers have so much more flavor than the typical Russets we buy at the grocery store. Beets could be good too, but they tend to overpower the more delicate flavors of other root veggies. Meat is optional.

2 parsnips
2 carrots
2 medium-size potatoes
1 large turnip or rutabaga
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
Olive oil
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
½ pound stew meat (optional)
¼ C. white wine or dry vermouth
2 C. vegetable or chicken stock
1 t. thyme
2 T. flour + 2 T. cold water
1 or 2 pie crusts

Preheat oven to 500º F. Cut vegetables into ½ inch pieces. Crush the garlic cloves and peel them. Toss everything with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large baking pan. Roast, turning occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Turn the oven down to 375º F.

If using meat, brown in a skillet until cooked through, and set aside. When vegetables are done, remove them from the roasting pan and set them aside. Deglaze the roasting pan by pouring the wine or vermouth into it and scraping up all the little bits from the bottom. Pour this liquid into the skillet, add stock and thyme, and bring to a boil. Shake the flour with cold water in a jar (or just whisk in a bowl), and add to the stock, stirring vigorously. Simmer until the gravy is thickened and reduced by about half. Toss the meat and vegetables in the gravy.
If you like your pot pies to have a bottom crust, pour the filling into the bottom crust, otherwise just pour directly into the pie plate. Seal the top crust over everything, and bake 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
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