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.
Click here for printable version.
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:
Put the flour, butter and egg into the bowl of a processor.
Process until you have a fine crumb.
Drizzle in the milk.
Process until the dough comes together.
Turn out onto your work surface.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap with cling film.
Refrigerate for ½ an hour.
Cut the onion in half lengthwise, and then into thin slices
Peel and cut the carrots into pieces, and then process (no need to clean out the processor bowl from the crust), or chop finely, or grate.
Wipe the mushrooms clean, and trim off the dry part of their stalks. Cut them into thick slices, and then once through the middle to create nice size chunks of mushroom.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add in the onion slices and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the carrot pieces and continue to cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the mushroom pieces and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the ketchup, soy sauce, dried thyme and vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and reduce the liquid to half.
While the mushroom mix is cooking and reducing, remove the dough from the fridge.
Divide into 4 equal sized balls.
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.
Brush some of the egg wash onto the rim of each dish.
Place a round of dough on each dish, pressing slightly on the edges.
Trim off the overhang leaving about ½” still overhanging.
Cut a slit in the top of each crust.
Brush some of the egg wash onto each crust.
Place the dishes on a parchment lined baking sheet or pan. Makes it easier to clean up any boil overs.
Bake at 400° for about 25 minutes, or until the crusts are golden and the filling is bubbling.
Enjoy with a side of steamed vegetables.
Fantastic dinner for a rainy night, or a dark night, or a cold night, or just because.