It’s cold and snowy in Denver today, so I pulled out this comfort food recipe for our dinner tonight, which was given to me while I was living in Europe. I modified it to roast the vegetables instead of steaming them, which was the original method. It’s one of my favorites, with it’s combination of carrots, parsnips and celery root together with a bit of country ham. (You can easily make it vegetarian by omitting the ham if you prefer.) I like to make this unique dish on a cold, winter night (like tonight!) – it warms you up and is good for you too. And, using puff pastry for the crust makes it a snap to assemble.
Ham and Roasted Vegetable Pot Pie
(Serves 6 to 8)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
12 medium-sized shallots, peeled, trimmed and cut in half
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch square pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch square pieces
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch square pieces
1 to 1 1/4 cups chopped ham (preferably country ham)
1/3 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk (can use whole, 2 percent or skim)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Increase heat to medium, stir in thyme and sugar and continue cooking, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until caramelized. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
Place in a large deep-dish pie pan. Set aside.
While the shallots are cooking: place the carrots, turnip and celery root in a shallow roasting pan and spray with olive oil; toss. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork, stirring occasionally. Add to the pie dish along with the chopped ham and stir together.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into the pie dish and stir well.
Brush the edges of the pie dish with beaten egg. Cover with the pastry, trimming excess (use the trimmings to decorate the top if desired). Push down on the edges to adhere to the pan. Brush top of pastry with egg and cut a slit or two in the center for steam to escape. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Cover edges if they start to burn.
Make ahead: pot pie can be assembled but not baked earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking.