Saturday, February 13, 2010
a perfect winter vegan pot pie.
you will need the following:
oven. preheated to 350.
a dutch oven for cooking. i use a 6 quart mario batalli dutch oven. most lines of cook wear from celebrity chefs are garbage but his is actually pretty good and i use my dutch oven quite often. it is my favorite piece of cook wear. this piece didn't cost as much as le creuset but it's getting the same job done.
one yellow or white onion chopped
one parsnip or any other root vegetables that make you happy. turnips would be nice!
carrots. about four large ones or small ones equalling about four large ones. we used a bunch of rainbow carrots that we got at whole foods (getting them from a farmer is cheaper.. whole foods is so expensive yikes) and supplemented with a few big basic carrots that were in my fridge. chop these into small pieces.
a carton or four cups of vegetable broth.
three medium sized russet potatoes. peel two potatoes and cut them into 1-2 inch pieces for boiling. you will use this to make a mashed potato type of thing. wash your third potato and cut it into thin slices to go into your pot pie with your other veggies.
peas. i used a half a bag of frozen ones. if you can get fresh peas i envy you.
one carton or approximately two cups of white mushrooms.
(OPTIONAL) Gardein chicken. we used one bag of the scallopini gardein "chicken" in our pot pie. this is completely optional and i really don't feel like it added that much to the pie. it's up to you if you want a chicken pot pie or a vegetable pot pie. this pie is very flavorful, hearty and filling without the inclusion of fake meat but of course Gardein is delicious in everything. we cut ours (while it was frozen) into small cubes and added it in at the very last minute before the pie went into the oven.
soy milk. i used the unsweetened kind. the regular one would be fine also.
two table spoons of earth balance or whatever kind of vegan margarine you like.
a little olive oil.
all purpose flour
cold water. when i came home from the store i put a big cup of water into the freezer so that it could get cold while i was working on putting groceries away and getting my ducks in a line.
spices. we used tumeric, poultry seasoning (don't worry this doesn't have any poultry in it), onion powder, and thyme. plus salt and pepper of course. feel free to use whatever you like but i think that the poultry seasoning is pretty crucial. salt and pepper are also important, of course. from there you can use any flavors that appeal to you!
more after the jump
snacks. this pie took us forever to make and we would have starved to death without snacks. mind you-- we lagged a lot and it shouldn't take you that long. maybe about an hour to an hour and a half. this is a good thing to cook on a lazy sunday afternoon. making it was a lot of fun.
add your two peeled, chopped potatoes to a pot of salted and boiling water and cook until tender as you would if you were making mashed potatoes. when they are finished drain them in a colander and set aside.
remember to reserve the third potato that you have sliced as it will go into the pot pie.
put your dutch oven over medium-low heat with about two tablespoons of oil. when it begins to warm up drop your chopped onion into the pot so that it may begin to cook down. as the onion is just starting to clarify a bit add your chopped parsnip.
i haven't worked with parsnips very many times before and they were very hard so i decided to add them really early to make sure that they would get soft enough.
while the onions and parnips are getting happy together you can start to season things. add a little bit of salt and a few tablespoons of spices. i am not a big measurer.. preferring to season things on instinct. as long as you taste as you go and don't add too much of anything at once then you can trust yourself to slowly build a really lovely flavor without having to measure things out obsessively.
at this point your onions should be softening up nicely and you can go ahead and your carrots and give everything a big stir.
give your carrots a minute or two to cook with the onions and parsnips, stirring a couple of times and then add just enough vegetable broth to almost cover the ingredients.
remember to taste your mixture in your pot on occasion to check for salt and make sure the flavor is coming along well. tasting while you cook is really important! leave everything to simmer and return to the potatoes that you boiled and set aside.
we thickened our pot pie using mashed potatoes. mash your potatoes down with a manual potato masher or mixer combining them with the two tablespoons of butter, a little bit of soy milk until they are creamy. they don't need to be perfect mashed potatoes. salt to taste and add pepper if you like.
that's zane. he's good at stirring. he my kitchen helper.
set the mashed potatoes aside again and clear off a space to make your dough. you need a dry flat surface.
the dough for the top of your pie is very simple and easy to make. you can thank my mother for the simple dough recipe. i called her ten different times to make her tell me again because i kept forgetting.
you need two cups of flour. one cup of shortening, one teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup of ice cold water.
put your flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt.
add the shortening and cut into it. i took two butter knives and repeatedly dragged them into opposing directions through the flour. kind of creating the effect of scissors. use the knives to cut into the mixture over and over again until the shortening is crumbled and lumpy in an even way in the flour. sprinkle the water all over the mixture and gently stir it to combine. you do not want to stir this a whole bunch of aspire for an blended up mixture. it should be lumpy but in an even way. i'm sorry that i forgot to take pictures here but my hands were totally full. when the ingredients are mixed into your bowl take them into your hands and form them into a ball. it will be a combination of wet and dry. set the ball onto your dry work area and roll it flat to the size that is needed to cover your pie.
while the dough waits you can add your potato slices, peas and mushrooms to the mixture simmering on your stove.
now stir the mashed potatoes into the dutch oven
if your mixture seems too running to you after adding the mashed potatoes you can add a little bit of a flurry to correct it. a flurry is just a tiny but of water and flour stirred with a fork into a thick pasty substance. you can add a bit and stir it in to thicken things up. do not use cornstarch. it's gross.
taste your mixture once it's all stirred and add any final seasonings. i put some more pepper. lots and lots of fresh ground black pepper.
if you want to add gardein to your pie now is the time to do it. chop up your still frozen gardein chicken and stir it into the pot.
now you can situate your dough on your dutch oven.
place the dough over the top of the oven and trim any excess off. i trimmed mine a little so that only about an inch was hanging over.
poke four holes in your dough so that heat and steam can escape while it's in the oven. cook until golden brown.. about 35 minutes.
serve in deep bowls with a piece of crush atop each bowl.
ta-da! it's silly how delicious this pie is and how fun it was to make. the vegan oooh'ed and aahh'ed and so did the meat eaters. it was really delightful and i am looking forward to making a beef pot pie using a darker vegetable stock and gardein beef.
good news--- this is the last post with lousy iphone pictures since someone from my other website was kind enough to purchase me a digital camera from my wishlist. my next post will be vegan fried chicken also using gardein chicken + vegan collard greens and the pictures are pretty!