Vegetable Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

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It’s high squash season.  The farmer’s market last weekend had so many varieties of squash stacked between the sweet potatoes and swiss chard: acorn, spaghetti, butternut, kabocha, carnival, and more.  I’ve been thinking about making a savory squash dish, so I picked up one of the acorn and one butternut.  I scanned several cookbooks and finally decided on this vegetable potpie recipe.  It’s a nice combination of autumn squash, earthy mushrooms, sauteed red onions, and fresh herbs, topped with garlicy, cheesy biscuits. Enjoy!

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Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

adapted from The Joy of Cooking

For the vegetable potpie
1 large red onion, cut into thick slices
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 acorn squash, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
8 oz baby portobello mushrooms, cut into thick slices
3-4 tbs. olive oil
3-4 tbs. butter
salt and pepper, to taste
2 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

For the biscuit crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbs. cold unsalted butter
3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Heat 1/2 tbs. butter and 1/2 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion slices and cook on each side until browned, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer them to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2. Add a little bit more butter and olive oil to the pan, then add the carrots.  Brown them, stirring frequently, for about 6 or 7 minutes.  Transfer them to the large bowl with the onions, and lightly season with salt and pepper.

3. Add a little bit more butter and olive oil, and then add the squashes.  Brown them, stirring frequently for 7 or 8 minutes. Transfer them to the large bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. Add a little bit more butter and olive oil to the pan, and  then add the mushrooms.  Brown the mushrooms, stirring frequently, for 5 or 6 minutes.  Add them to the bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper.

5. Add the chopped herbs to the vegetables and toss them. Place the vegetable mixture in a 9×13 baking dish, and add the vegetable or chicken broth. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the squash are just tender when speared with a fork.

6. While the vegetables are baking, make the cheddar biscuit crust.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives.  The smallest pieces of butter should be the size of breadcrumbs, with the largest pieces the size of peas.  Add the heavy cream, cheddar cheese, garlic, and pepper.  Mix until the ingredients just come together.  Briefly knead them against the side of the bowl a couple of times.

7. When the vegetables are tender, remover them from the oven, uncover, and drop the biscuit dough over the top by the spoonfull. Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, and bake until the biscuits are golden, about 20 minutes.

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