“Ruta-what?” That’s what the cashier said after I told her what that humble-looking round root was called. If you haven’t tried rutabaga, you are really missing out. It shines in this skillet pot pie, packed with root vegetables and drenched in gravy, topped with a crispy cornmeal crust.. Plus, it’s just plain fun to say. It’s also likely that your local grocer carries rutabaga…and you waltzed right past it without ever noticing before. At least, that’s what I did until I tried some about a year ago, and I haven’t made the mistake of overlooking it since.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 egg
- 2-4 Tbs very cold water
- 2 cups chopped rutabaga (about 1 large rutabaga)
- 1 cup chopped sweet potato (1 small sweet potato)
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped potato
- 1 cup chopped beet (2 medium beets)
- 3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 stalks)
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 tsp fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 Tbs flour
- 1 tsp rubbed sage
- 1-2 tsp thyme
- 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or beef or chicken broth)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the crust: In a food processor combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and 2 Tbs water, until the dough just starts to hold together. If it seems too dry, add more water a little at a time. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
For the filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Sautée 2 Tbs butter, onion, and garlic in a 10″ cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped vegetables, a little salt and pepper, and cook until they just start to get tender. (but not all the way, as they will finish cooking in the oven). (You may want to cook the beets separately, and then gently mix them in at the end.) Remove from heat and sprinkle fresh parsley on top. In a medium saucepan, melt 6 Tbs butter, and add flour, sage and thyme, then stir until smooth. Gradually whisk in the broth and vinegar until it reaches a gravy-like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the vegetables are ready in the skillet, pour the gravy over the top of the vegetables, and allow to continue cooling.
Assembly: Remove dough from fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface, until it forms a circle large enough to cover skillet. Carefully place crust on top of skillet, covering the edges of the skillet, and press down along the rim, removing any excess crust. (I roll mine out on a cutting board, and then slide it off over the skillet.) Poke the crust 8-10 times with a fork to ventilate, and bake until crust turns a light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow pie to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 8 servings.