I have always loved pot pies but haven’t eaten one in years once I learned of all the nasty things that go into the crust and filling. But on this chilled winter weekend, I just had to have a pot pie.
In case you’re new to this blog, there a few things you need to know about me. I eat vegan food. I can’t roll things (nothing – not a rug, not a burrito) and I’m lazy. Well, I think of it as time and energy efficient.
So if I can make these pot pies, any one can! They are easy and no-fail and most of all comfort food at its finest. They’re also made with ingredients you likely already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry.
You can mix up the vegetables you use in these pot pies. I’ve included a very traditional blend, but I think sweet potatoes, parsnips, fennel or even cabbage could be interesting. You could even use a bag of mixed frozen vegetables.
1 ½ cups white beans (navy or great northern beans). That’s one 15 ounce can drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 carrot sliced (I think a small sweet potato peeled and cubed would make a great substitution)
1 rib celery finely sliced
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup frozen green peas
¼ cup flour (you will need a little extra too for rolling out your dough)
3 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup white wine (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp A-1 Sauce (a/k/a brown sauce) or vegan Worcestershire sauce
Pie crust – see note
Note: I used plain, store brand, no-name, pre-made, frozen pie crusts – enough for 2 bottom crusts. I let the shells thaw for about 15 minutes and then manually wadded them into a dough ball. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, I rolled the dough out onto a floured surface until I had a ¼ inch thick square. I measured out the pie crust lids by using the bowls I baked the pot pies in as a form of cookie cutter. I inverted the bowls onto the dough and cut out the circle size I needed to make the pie crust lid.
Here’s an excellent recipe and instructions on making pie crust, if you’re inclined to bake right from scratch. It really isn’t hard at all and only takes a few extra minutes!
I used 4 ceramic bowls, but you could also use ramekins or make one big pie or mix it up however you feel.
To make the filling
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Pour the olive oil into a medium sized Dutch oven or sauce pan. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until the onions are getting translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for another minute or two.
Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are all covered and the flour cooks slightly – about 1 minute. Add the wine, if using, and the broth and all the seasonings. Stir well to make sure you have a smooth broth and bring to a boil. Once the filling boils, reduce the heat and let the broth simmer for about 10 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil and place your baking dishes on the foil lined cookie sheet. You don’t have to do this, but it makes it MUCH easier to put your small pot pies in the oven and take them out again. The foil means you don’t have to clean the cookie sheet.
Fill each bowl equally with the pot pie filling. Top with a piece of pie crust cut to size. If your pie crust goes right to the edges of the dish, cut a slit in the crust to let steam escape.
Bake for 35 -40 minutes.
These pies will keep for 3 days in the fridge. You can reheat them in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes OR microwave.
You can freeze these pies once cooked. To reheat them, let them defrost in the fridge first.