This recipe is really easy, but the puff pastry lid makes it look impressive and it is a great way of using up root veggies that might be getting a little past their prime as well. Gently stewing the vegetables brings out their deeper flavours, but limiting the time you stew them for means the vegetables still have a lovely texture and hold their shape well.
Sometimes I include the beans in this recipe and sometimes I don’t - it just depends on how I am feeling and who I am serving. The beans do add extra nutrition though, so I tend to include them more often than not. This whole recipe only takes about an hour to put together so it is really good for busy evenings. The timings get a bit critical at the end as puff pastry doesn’t hold very well, but the stew that forms the ‘pot’ part of the pie is extremely forgiving!
You can serve this on a plate, simply popping the lid on top for effect, or you can decant the stew into bowls and serve it like a traditional pot pie as I have done in the photograph below.
It’s entirely up to you! I do tend to cut the veggies a bit smaller if I am serving them in a bowl.
To serve four people you need:
1 - 2 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use mild olive oil)
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced, rinsed and drained
(may substitute 1 large onion, peeled and sliced, if leeks are not available)
3 parsnips, peeled and cut in medium size chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut in medium size chunks
2½ cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
1 can (about 14 ounces) mixed beans, preferably organic, drained and rinsed (optional)
2 tablespoons cornflour, mixed with 1 generous tablespoon water
(If your puff pastry needs to sit at room temperature before unrolling, remember to get it out of the fridge at this point.)
In a large casserole with a lid suitable for the stove top, or in a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
Sauté the leeks (or onion) for a few minutes until they begin to soften, and then tumble in the rest of the vegetables and stir until they are coated in the oniony oily mixture.
Add the vegetable stock, oregano, the bay leaf and the soy sauce (if using). Cover and simmer over low heat for about half an hour.
Remove the lid and give the mixture a stir. Add the beans if using and make sure there is enough liquid in the pan. You are going to want to thicken the sauce later, so you don’t want too much liquid, but if there is hardly any left at all you may need to add a little more stock or even some boiling water. put the lid back on and leave to cook over low heat.
Meanwhile, you need to get your puff pastry ready. Preheat the oven to 375℉ (about 180 to 190℃). Gently unroll your puff pastry on to a clean surface, and select one of the serving bowls you are using to serve the pot pie. (Even if I am serving on a plate, I use the same bowls to cut out the tops.) Place the bowl on top of the pastry and run a knife around the edge to cut out a circle.
Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Check the stew to make sure that the vegetables are getting tender. Remove the bay leaf and put the lid back on. When the vegetables are just about tender enough to serve, place the puff pastry lids in the oven and cook as directed on the package instructions, or until puffy and golden.
Meanwhile, combine the cornflour and water and add it to the vegetable stew to thicken the ‘gravy’. Cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until a nice thick gravy develops. Turn the heat right back and pop the lid on to keep warm.
When the puff pastry tops are ready, either spoon the stew into bowls or on to plates. Gently loosen the tops from the baking sheets and pop on to the ‘pies’.
You can also serve these with a side of mashed potatoes and a green vegetable if you like.