Pot pie is one of those things I used to refuse to touch with a 10 foot pole. There were lots of good legitimate reasons: onions and green peas being chief among them. Also, it just seemed too mysterious–I never felt sure of what I was getting because it was all masked by the creamy filling and made me uneasy. I couldn’t dependably pick out just the chicken from a chicken pot pie.
But the great thing about pot pie that I have discovered as an adult is that I can put whatever I want to (or don’t want to) in it. So, no onions and peas here! But lots of mushrooms and potatoes! This pot pie focuses on hearty winter root vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips. Also, mushrooms. They are roasted and then added to a creamy roux and baked under a cornmeal crust.
The honest truth about this one is that I was a a little uncertain about the parsnips. Even when they came out of the oven roasted they still tasted a little strange to me: a little more acidic than I expected. But really, they are delicious in here, because once everything is added together to the sauce, the flavors balance perfectly. (The same is true for the sweet potatoes, which sometimes I can find a little off putting in dishes…but not here at all).
So bottom line about pot pies: I’m not sure I’ll be going near any old pot pie on a regular basis from here on out, but it’s nice to know that I can make one that I like.