Monday, December 22, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Pot Pie with Rosemary Biscuit Topping

I wanted to make a main dish for a party, and a pot pie topped with biscuits--a savory cobbler--seemed irresistible. I used a recipe, but I adapted it so much, I might as well have created it from scratch. This pie takes a long time, but it's worth it. The double roasting of the vegetables produces maximum flavor and sweetness, and the dried mushrooms balance out the pie with an earthy note. The biscuits are fluffy and tender due to the use of buttermilk. You can use any mix of fresh and frozen veggies for this pie; it's extremely versatile. Sadly, I did not get a good photo of it, but you can see it on my holiday table being upstaged by a cake and a loaf of bread.



6 carrots, preferably of different colors, sliced
2 large parsnips, sliced
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 cups water
2 Tbsp vegetable bouillon base
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 small package microwavable fresh green beans, trimmed
3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
6 shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup flour
1/4 whipping cream or sour cream
2 Tbsp dry sherry
dried sage
dried thyme
dried savory
celery seeds
1 small package chives, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

5 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks chilled butter, cubed
2 1/2-3 cups buttermilk
paprika (optional)


Got three hours? Roll up your sleeves!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then cover it with the carrot, parsnip, and sweet potato chunks. Massage the veggies with the olive oil and grind in some salt and pepper. Roast until tender, checking with a knife in 20 minutes and every 5 minutes after that. When you take out the veggies, reduce the oven temperature to 400.

While the veggies are roasting, microwave your green beans according to the package directions (a lazy step, I know, but the rest of this is so labor-intensive, you'll thank me).

In a saucepan, heat the water and bouillon. When these reach the boiling point, add the dried porcinis. Remove from heat.

In a Dutch oven, heat the butter. Add the onions and shallots and cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat until transclucent.

Chop the cooled green beans into 1/2-inch pieces.

Add the green beans, garlic, celery, peas, and rosemary to the Dutch oven. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the flour and coat the veggies evenly. Stir and let cook for one minute.

Add the cream or sour cream, sherry, and broth with the mushrooms. Cook until sauce has thickened and reduced somewhat, about 8 minutes. Stir in more flour as needed to thicken the sauce.

Add dried sage, thyme, savory, and celery seeds as seems appropriate to season the broth (around 1 tsp each). Grind in more salt and pepper as needed.

Add the roasted veggies (they should be done by now) and the chives. Stir until veggies are evenly coated with sauce and sauce seems sufficiently thick and well-integrated with the veggies.

NOW, get a 9 x 13 glass baking pan. Will the veggies and sauce fit in the pan? You can always do like the Awkward Chef and line the bottom oven rack with aluminum foil to catch drippings. Pour the veggie mixture into the baking pan. Hopefully, it's enough to fill the pan, but without the danger of leaping overboard in simmering zeal. This was miraculously the case with my filling, which, although dangerously close to sloshing out, never did (at least, not until I topped it with giant clumps of biscuit dough).

Bake the filling for 40-50 minutes. The roux will brown and the veggies will meld, the onions and shallots transforming into a sweet, slow-roasted glue.

While your pie is deepening into itself, make the biscuit dough. (Okay, first clean up a bit. I bet your kitchen is messy and splotched. No roux spatters!)

Stir the flour, baking powder, rosemary, and salt in a large bowl.

Cut in the butter until the flour becomes a coarse sand.

Add the buttermilk slowly, mixing all the while, until you have moist clumps of dough.

Pull your baking pan from the oven. Blanket that filling with biscuit-sized rounds of dough. Nice, big ones. When you're finished, sprinkle the biscuits with paprika.

Now you're really going to want to make sure your oven is lined with aluminum foil. Put some beneath the baking pan for good measure. At this point, you may wish that you and your kitchen were aluminum-lined.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the runniest biscuit terrain comes out clean.

Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

This tastes even better in a day or two, heated up in the oven.


  • This pie was originally all root vegetables, but my boyfriend doesn't like turnips or rutabagas, and celeriac seemed a dubious option. As I noted above, you can be extremely versatile with ingredients. Some blue potatoes, for example, would be nice in place of the yams. Roasted red cabbage would add an interesting note. I wouldn't go with fresh mushrooms, though, because you want the chewy texture of the dried.
  • You can also be versatile with the seasonings and herbs used. No need to go with any of the any of the above if you'd prefer something else.
  • While we're at it, I doubt that the dried mushrooms HAVE to be porcini.
  • I used vegan sour cream in the roux because I have a lactose-intolerant friend and accidentally bought the French vanilla soy creamer. A frantic ransack of my fridge brought to light a still-good container of Tofutti. To my relief, it turned out great! Anything creamy will do.
  • The original recipe called for half the amount of biscuit dough. It obviously didn't know with whom it was dealing.
  • You don't HAVE to roast the veggies the first time around. It will not kill anyone if you saute them along with the other veggies.
  • One small package of rosemary will do for the rosemary. One small package of chives will do for the chives. No need to kill yourself with precise measurements.
  • If all your oven-dripping prevention activity is for naught and you end up with quickly burning patches of roux on your oven walls, know that the appetizing smells of the roasting veggies will overpower the acrid scent of burning flour and bouillon. I would not have dreamed that this was true, but it is!


5 stars. If you get past my finicky notes and messy kitchen-shaming and make this, you'll be glad you did.