Potpies are old-fashioned comfort food at its best, and this version, made with chewy seitan and a variety of vegetables, is as comforting as they come. Feel free to vary the filling ingredients according to your preference or what you have on hand. For example, you could use corn instead of peas, or tofu or tempeh in place of the seitan.
- For the Super-Rich Vegetable Stock:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
- 2 medium-size carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium-size parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup peeled and chopped celery root (celeriac)
- 8 cups water
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon tamari or other soy sauce
- For the Filling:
- 1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and diced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/4 cups of the Super-Rich Vegetable Stock
- 2 tablespoons tamari or other soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
- 12 ounces seitan, coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup frounceen green peas, thawed
- For the Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup chilled corn oil
- 2 tablespoons ice water
For the Super-Rich Vegetable Stock: Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots, parsnip and celery root. Cover and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the water, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, tamari and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or pot, pressing against the solids with the back of a large spoon to release the liquid. Use at once or let cool and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you may portion the stock and freeze it for 3 to 4 months.
For the Filling: Cook the potato, carrot and parsnip in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups of the stock and the tamari to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Simmer, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion to a lightly oiled 2-quart casserole dish.
Reheat the skillet and add the seitan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the casserole dish. Stir in the peas, potato-carrot-parsnip mixture, and sauce and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Crust: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt, pulsing to blend. Add the corn oil and process until the mixture is crumbly. With the machine running, slowly add the water and process until the mixture forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is slightly larger than the casserole dish. Place the crust over the casserole and crimp the edges.
Bake until the filling is hot and bubbly and the crust is browned, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Excerpted from Vegan Planet, by Robin Robertson. Copyright 2003, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press http://www.harvardcommonpress.com.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press. All rights reserved.
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