The forecast calls for a low of 27 degrees tonight. Though I am not sure how I feel about this, the vegetables this week are well suited to hearty meals meant for warming the body and soul.
Expect the following this week:
1 bunch Mustard
1 bunch Raab
Have I told you about the carrots yet? Long-time Four Winds Farm patrons will recognize these amazing, giant, orange gems. Two weeks ago, though, I did get a lot of questions from (newer) members regarding the enormous size of this particular variety of carrot. It is true that often one should choose smaller roots for the best texture and flavor. But when it comes to these carrots, you need not worry. The fat carrots in the shares these days are a French heirloom bred for their size and ability to store. They are the best carrots I have ever had, no matter the size. I eat one every day in the field: pull it out of the ground, wipe off the dirt and munch away.
Over the weekend, I got the idea in my head that I was going to make a pot pie. The only pot-pie experience I have ever had was eating microwavable frozen pot pies as a kid. That experience was not one I wanted to relive so I decided to start from scratch. I wanted to make something earthy and warm. Drawing inspiration from the name pot-pie instead of an internet search for recipes, I decided to start by lining my favorite dutch oven with a pie crust. Next, I wanted a filling that was every root vegetable I could stand to chop so I imagined a root-vegetable stew covered in a creamy-textured vegetable based bechamel sauce. It was really quite easy, though a bit time-consuming. We have enough left-overs for several meals, so as it turns out I will be freezing some portions. I’ll be happily reheating them in the oven sometime in the near future.
Start to finish: 1-1/2 hours active prep plus 40 minutes baking time.
1 recipe double-pie crust (use your favorite flaky crust)
10 cups root vegetables cut into 1/2 inch dice, such as carrots, turnips, parsnips and potatoes (you could even throw in some winter squash!)
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small celeriac, peeled, cleaned and finely diced
1 quart vegetable stock
3-4 TBS flour
2 TBS finely chopped assortment of herbs: sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
salt to taste
1. Divide pie dough into two pieces. One piece should be about 1/3 larger than the other. Roll the larger one out so that it will line a 4-quart dutch-oven style pot. Line the pot and press the dough against the sides. Set the other pie-dough portion aside.
2. After chopping all the root vegetables, place in a bowl and toss with the flour. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 375.
4. Heat 4-5 TBS oil in a large pot. Add celeriac, onion and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add flour-coated vegetables and cook until the flour begins to toast, about 15 minutes. Add stock and scrape bottom of pot thoroughly. Cook, uncovered until stock is creamy and vegetables are almost completely cooked, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Add seasonings: herbs, nutmeg, plenty of black pepper and salt. Stir to distribute.
5. Ladle the vegetables and their sauce into the pie crust lined pot, leaving 1/4 inch edge at the top of the crust. (See above picture as a reference.) Roll out the reserved piece of pie-dough into a circle that will fit directly on top of the filling. Score with a knife and place in the oven.
6. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is brown.
7. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. To serve, cut pot pie and serve a ladle of the filling with the pieces of crust, as shown below.
Have a great week!