This is a sponsored post on behalf of Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Winter took its sweet time coming this year, but when it came, it came with a vengeance, complete with blustery winds and artic chill and snow flurries. Thank goodness those big oversized blanket scarves are still in fashion this year!
To compensate, I’m busting out the hardcore cold-weather comfort food, starting with these hearty vegetarian pot pies filled with toothsome chunks of roasted vegetables in a creamy sherry-spiked sauce. To make them extra-cozy, I’ve topped them off with the most deliciously cheesy biscuits you’ll ever have the privilege of putting in your mouth.
Personally, I think the star of the show is those biscuits, mostly because of the cheese I used – it’s this month’s featured Canadian cheese, an aged gouda from Alberta’s Sylvan Star Cheese that’s affectionately called Grizzly because of its bite.
I first discovered Grizzly at last month’s Food Bloggers of Canada conference, where it was one of the cheeses the Dairy Farmers of Canada were sampling as part of a very impressive cheese board. I may or may not have eaten more than my fair share of this delicious gouda, which takes on a sharp, crumbly texture and a rich nutty flavour thanks to a 12-24 month long aging process.
It’s perfectly delicious eaten just as it is, which makes it a lovely addition to any cheese board, but I couldn’t resist using it to give my favourite buttermilk biscuit recipe a cheesy makeover. The sharpness of the cheese is just the thing to play up the sweetness of the roasted vegetables.
The end result is a simple vegetarian main dish that’s easily customized to use up whatever you’ve got kicking around in the fridge. I used a mix of carrots, parsnips, rutabaga and butternut squash, but turnips, potatoes, yams, brussels sprouts or any other sturdy seasonal vegetables work just as well. (Just avoid using beets, unless you want a hot pink pot pie filling!)
As for the biscuits, finely chopping the cheese into small pieces creates lovely pockets of cheesy deliciousness, as opposed to the more even distribution you’d get from grated cheese. Plus it means one less thing to wash up when you’re done, which is never a bad thing.
And since ‘tis the season, I should point out that this pie is a great way to use up leftover roast vegetables. Simply skip the first step and let the roast vegetables simmer in the sauce for a few minutes to warm through.
Bring on the cold winds… between my big scarf and these pot pies, I’ve got plenty to keep me warm over here.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep the Crumb Test Kitchen running! All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.
- 6 cups diced fall vegetables (e.g. carrot, parsnip, squash, rutabaga, potatoes)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- ½ cup finely diced fennel bulb
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp dry sherry
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup finely chopped Sylvan Star Cheese Grizzly
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. Tumble onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading out into an even layer. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and browned.
- While the vegetables are roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fennel, and saute for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent, but haven’t taken on any colour. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.
- Whisk in the vegetable broth and sherry, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, and stir in the cream, peas, thyme, sage and roasted vegetables. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
- Next, make the biscuits. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the gouda and buttermilk, and stir until just barely combined.
- Spoon the filling into six oven-proof bowls, then top with heaping spoonfuls of the biscuit topping. Reduce the oven temperature to 400F. Arrange the pie dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and hot, and the biscuits are cooked all the way through. Serve immediately.