Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vegetable Bacon Pot Pie

Today I made a delicious Vegetable Bacon Pot Pie.  I was inspired by a recipe I saw Ina Garten make on the Food Network (Lobster Pot Pie) and the vegetables I had on hand from recent Farm deliveries.

I found Ina Garten’s recipe for vegetable pot pie here and adapted it.

Here is my adaptation.

In a large sauce pan over medium heat sauté
1 large sweet onion
5 T butter

until soft and just starting to caramelize.  Reduce heat to med-low and add

1 c flour

and cook for a couple minutes.

Slowly add

5 cups of vegetable broth

letting the flour and onions absorb each cup of broth and bubble before adding another cup.  Turn the heat up if necessary to get the sauce to bubble a little.

Season to taste with
¼ t nutmeg
kosher salt

Taste and keep adding s & p until it tastes right.  It should be intensely flavored.  Add a dash of cream or whole milk.

I let the sauce sit at this point while I did the rest and it was fine.  You could certainly do all the other stuff in advance – even a day before.

Lay a ½ lb of sliced bacon over a cookie drying rack that is sitting in a jelly roll pan. This is the only way I cook bacon anymore  - it’s so easy!  Put the pan of bacon in a cold oven, turn the oven on to 450 and check the bacon after 10 minutes.  Let your nose and eyes tell you when it’s done.  I like mine extra crispy, especially when it’s going into something wet like this dish.

Meanwhile, wash, peel, and dice into bite-size pieces

3 carrots
3 small heads of broccoli
3 large red potatoes
1 large beet

When the bacon comes out of the oven wrap the pieces in a towel to absorb the grease.  Put the cookie drying rack in the sink.  Don’t pour out the bacon grease!  Dump the veggies you just chopped into the jelly roll pan of bacon grease, season with s & p, toss to coat.

Roast in the oven at 450 for 10-15 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

While those cook add the following to your sauce.

1 lb of washed and torn spinach, no stems
the cooked bacon, crumbled
½ large zucchini, peeled and diced

Stir until the spinach wilts down.  Season with more s & p, if needed. 

When the roasting veggies are tender, take them out of the oven and let them cool a few minutes.  Scoop them into the sauce and stir to combine.

I let my sauce sit again while I made the pie crust.  You could make yours ahead of time or buy some at the store.

Here’s Ina’s recipe for the crust.  Scroll down and you’ll see it in there. I did it mostly her way except,

1.     I didn’t have shortening and substituted with butter. 
2.     I don’t have a food processor so I cut the butter really small, used my kitchen aid, and made sure the water was truly ice-cold.  Seemed to work fine.
3.     I don’t have a pastry brush so I used my fingers to wet the dough w/egg wash so it would stick to the pans.  I didn’t put egg wash over the top or the salt and pepper.  Seemed fine without, though not as pretty.

While the dough chilled I scooped the sauce into individual serving dishes (must be ovenproof).  I had enough sauce for 7 small dishes. When the dough was ready I rolled it out (with lots of flour) and cut it into rough circles to cover each of my dishes.  There was plenty of dough.  Mine look more rustic and less professional than Ina’s.  As she suggests, secure the dough to the sides of the dishes with an egg wash and cut 2- 3 slits in the top of the crust.

Bake at 375 for an hour.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes.


I’m sure I will make variations of this in the future when I have lots of miscellaneous veggies around.  Try it with whatever you have on hand.  The only veggie I consider critical is the onion.

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