An incredibly rainy morning – we haven’t had a day like this since last spring, so I’m not complaining. I even turned on the furnace yesterday when I realized the house wasn’t going to go above 65°. Probably because of the weather, I figured it was time to have a warm & fall type meal, so started muddling through ideas in the mid afternoon. We have lots of meats available, but they’re all in the deep freeze, and really, meat should be thawed in the fridge rather than the microwave, but having not planned ahead, meat wasn’t an option. We do have some halibut & salmon, waiting to be used (because they can easily be cooked from frozen), but I’m trying to make them last at least a little longer. So, I decided to go with a vegetarian meal. I have made mushroom potpies a fair amount in the past, but usually for clients. Taking the time to really think them out, crusts and all, produced a heartier version than the ones I’ve done before.
Potpies are definitely one of the best comfort foods we have, whether they’re beef, poultry, fish or vegetable. One Christmas I made 3-dozen mixed potpies as a gift for Mom & Dad to have in their freezer for those nights when they just wanted something simple. Probably one of the best gifts I’ve ever given based on the scale of appreciation.
Basically a potpie is a hearty stew capped off with pastry. They can just have a top crust, or be double crusted. This short-crust is one of my favourites, but there’s no reason not to use any savoury basic piecrust recipe.
Makes 4 Potpies
Need 4 – 8 or 10 oz ramekins or ovenproof dishes
1½ c flour
3½ oz butter (about 100gr) – cut into 1” pieces
1T olive oil
500 gr mixed mushrooms (a couple of ounces over a pound) – I’ve used white & brown field mushrooms – basic grocery store variety
salt & pepper
1T soy sauce (or balsamic vinegar, or dry sherry – all work well)
½ t dried thyme
1 c vegetable stock
125 gr blue cheese or Stilton – or use a soft cheese like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt Tam or some basic Brie.
For Egg Wash:
Drizzle in the milk.
Turn out onto your work surface.
Refrigerate for ½ an hour.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add in the mushroom pieces and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the mushroom mix is cooking and reducing, remove the dough from the fridge.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface until you have 4 circles that will fit over the dishes with a 1” overhang.
Evenly spoon the filling into the ramekins.
If using blue cheese or Stilton, crumble an equal amount onto each dish of filling. If using a soft cheese, cut it into 4 equal size wedges or pieces and press into the center of each dish of filling.
Whisk together the egg and tablespoon of water.
Place a round of dough on each dish, pressing slightly on the edges.
Place the dishes on a parchment lined baking sheet or pan. Makes it easier to clean up any boil overs.