Pot pie is one of the great American comfort foods. I start craving it when the weather turns cold and I want something warm and hearty. I almost never make it because it is a pain in the neck to make.
One sticky point is the crust. If you want a gluten-free crust you either have to pay about six bucks for a prepared one or make it yourself. If you don’t care about the gluten you can use a cheaper prepared crust. Making crust takes time but then, I’m not wild about prepared crusts since they are full of weird preservatives. If you use those prepared crusts, then you still have to fit it into those little pie pans which is time consuming and messy. The biggest problem is that no matter how you buy, make or use it, this kind of crust is loaded with fat.
The other sticky point is the filling. It usually contains some combination of butter, milk and white flour. Not particularly healthy either.
By the time you put it all together, it ends up time-consuming, work intensive and full of fats. Of course, this has to be a food I adore!
The weather got cold and dark in December and I wanted pot pie. So David and I started experimenting with different type of pot pies. We tried a whole lot of things for crusts and a whole lot more for filing. After a several iterations we decided that this was our favorite version.
Pot Pie “Crust”
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
- Coarsely grate 2 big russet or white baking potatoes
- I use my hands to mix the potatoes with
- 1 teaspoon desiccated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon desiccated onion or onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil ( you can use less)
- Salt to taste
- Take a hand full of the grated potato mix and press it into a thin layer on the sides of 6 small pie pans or 6 inch ramekins
- Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees or until it starts to brown
- Remove from oven and fill with mixture below
- As you remove the crust from the oven be sure to turn the oven up to 350 degrees
Pot Pie Filing
- While “crusts” are baking create the filling by sautéing
- 1/2 cup mirapoix
- 1 onion
- garlic to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- When the onions are clear add:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup cut asparagus (pieces should be about 1/2 inch long); you can use either fresh or frozen
- 1 cup cauliflower (pieces should roughly match the asparagus); you can use either fresh or frozen
- OPTIONAL”: 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cover and simmer on low while preparing the rest of the filler in the blender
- Add blender and blend till smooth
- Cooked butternut squash (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup potato soup. If you do not have potato soup add 1/4 cup cooked potato and 2 Tablespoons of nut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- If the mixture is too dense add a little nut milk to thin it out
- Add filler to the veggies on the stove and mix well.
- If the mixture is too thin you can turn the heat to high and cook while stirring constantly until it thickens up
- Fill the crust with veggie mix; Top with a handful of grated potatoes
- Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes
You can change up the vegetables to any combination that suits your taste buds. Some people tell me they prefer carrots, peas and corn. And someone else told me they add mushrooms or garbanzos (chick peas) as a chicken alternative.
From start to finish (not including baking time) this took about 20 minutes and provided 3 meals for the two of us — I froze the 4 we didn’t eat at the first meal. It was hot, hearty and infinitely satisfying. Great quick dinner for family or guests and easy to prepare ahead.