Lentil and Potato Pot Pies with Rosemary Biscuit Crust
Lentils. Lentils. Lentils. I love lentils!
Lentils are really good for you (read The Sweet Beet about lentils and how they’re a great protein that never swam or walked). Lentils are really tasty. Really tasty! They’re versatile too.
These lentil pot pies would be a vegetarian great dish to serve at Thanksgiving dinner (and, you know Thanksgiving is sneaking around the corner soon!). For that matter, it’d be great for Christmas dinner as well. I haven’t tried making it as one large pot pie, but I bet it would work really well if you wanted it for a larger potluck type event.
I really like the savory, complex, deep flavors of this stew. The biscuits are a great way to make a pot pie fun and different, not the usual pie crust. The rosemary in the biscuits ups the flavor and the savory-ness of the dish. Garnish with some fresh rosemary, if desired.
This recipe was inspired by something I saw in Bon Appetit. However, I’ve changed it so much over the many times that I’ve made it, I’m not even sure it still resembles the original.
Lentil and Potato Pot Pies with Rosemary Biscuits
Makes 4 servings
½ cup brown lentils
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable broth
3 medium or 9 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons yellow corn meal
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
½ cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
To make FILLING:
Combine 3 cups cold water, lentils, and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid; set lentils and reserved liquid aside.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until browned, about 20 minutes. Add carrot, rosemary, and thyme, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix flour into vegetables; cook 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and reserved lentil cooking liquid.
Mix in potatoes, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Cover; simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes. Add lentils; season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among four 2-cup ovenproof bowls.
Filling can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
To make TOPPING:
Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and rosemary, and blend with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, and mix with clean hands until dough forms moist clumps. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces; shape each into 2/3-inch-thick disk. Set rounds atop filling.
Bake pies on baking sheet until tester inserted into biscuit topping comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
*Cook’s Notes: If you don’t have or don’t want to buy fresh buttermilk, get some powdered buttermilk and keep it in an airtight container in your cupboard. It pretty much lasts forever. And, you can use it in almost anything instead of fresh buttermilk. I don’t use it for things like buttermilk pancakes where the buttermilk is the main ingredient. But, for biscuits on top of a pot pie, it works like a charm. And, you can reconstitute it in water or milk, your choice. I used milk for these biscuits because I wanted the extra body that milk has.
Related posts: Lentil Chili with Green Onions