I've never eaten pot pie with meat in it, but I really focused on building this recipe to be savory and meat-y with flavor. I added flavor in a few layers here like roasting the mushrooms and using the "drippings" to make a gravy which keeps the filling moist, and making the crust whole wheat with paprika and buttermilk. A lot is changeable and replaceable here so use whatever you like to eat most! This keeps great in the fridge, to reheat simply put the whole casserole dish in the oven again and bake at 350 til it's heated through, and also freezes nicely if double wrapped tightly. —Lily Applebaum
Pot pie crust
1 and 1/2 cups
whole wheat flour
unsalted butter, cold
paprika (I used smoked paprika which was yummy)
buttermilk, plus more may be necessary
brown or green lentils, picked over
garlic cloves, not peeled
mushrooms, cheapest available (usually button or cremini)
Cut butter into small cubes, and add to the bowl as you go
Using your finger tips, two forks, or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you have no pieces of butter larger than ~pea size, and the whole mix is a coarse meal
Pour in buttermilk and knead the mixture together as few times as possible, making sure there are no dry bits of mix. Add more buttermilk a tiny bit at a time if you need more. It's better to err on the side of a little more wet and a little more mixed than not, though. You're looking for the consistency of Play-Doh more or less
Pat the dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate until needed. This can keep for a day or two in the fridge if necessary.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small sauce pot, add lentils and cover with about two inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then leave to cook until done (around 40 minutes for me). Drain the lentils and leave them draining in a colander. Rinse out the pot and leave it on the stove, you'll use it to make the gravy later.
Meanwhile, work on the mushrooms. With a barely damp paper towel, gently brush off any visible dirt from the mushrooms. Separate mushroom stems and caps, and slice everything into ~1/4 inch thick slices. Add to the casserole dish or deep dish pie plate you'll use to cook the pot pie as you go.
Season the mushrooms with 1 tsp of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and roast at 400 degrees until very fragrant and releasing a lot of liquid, around 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the whole pan off to the side.
While the mushrooms and lentils are cooking, you can work on the rest of the filling. Combine the onions, carrots and celery with a splash of olive oil, and cook over medium high heat in a large skillet until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with a little bit of water, broth, or white wine if everything starts sticking. When lentils are finished and drained, add them to the pan too. Using a slotted spoon or a fork, take the mushrooms out of the roasting pan and add them to the veggie mix. Leave the liquid that the mushrooms released while they roasted in the pan, you'll use it in the next step.
Next, work on the gravy which will flavor and hold together the vegetable mix. Melt the 1/4 C butter in the same sauce pan you used to cook the lentils over medium-low heat. Add in the flour, and stir almost constantly until the roux is a blonde color and you can't see the texture of the flour any longer. Stir in the soy sauce one teaspoon at a time. Then stir the mushroom cooking liquid in to the gravy slowly. Now you should have a pretty thick, dark brown paste. Next, add warm water from the tap little by little, whisking all the way, until you have a gravy texture. It should taste amazing too! Wait to add more salt until you taste the whole mixture together.
Stir the gravy into the veggie mix on the stove, taste for seasoning, and once you're happy with how it tastes add it back to the mushroom roasting pan. Leave this mix to cool slightly.
Flour your counter and pull out the chilling pastry mix for the pie's crust. Roll the crust to about 1/4-inch thickness, trying to keep to the shape of your dish. Carefully transfer the pastry, and crimp it on to the top of your dish, or just right on top of the filling if it doesn't come all the way up to the top of the dish as mine didn't in the photo. For a fancy finish on the crust, brush on a wash of a little bit of beaten egg or milk. Cut a small vent in the center of the pie.
Bake at 400 degrees for one hour, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deeply browned and crisp. Enjoy!