Saturday, December 1, 2012

White bean and Swiss chard pot pies


Smitten Kitchen is my very favorite food blog, and I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for many, many months. SK's recipes fit in well with my style of cooking, and I have always found the recipes to be reliable and very delicious - they're the kind of recipes that I'm comfortable cooking for guests without testing in advance. I finally got a copy of the cookbook a few weeks ago, and it is a delight. I know I'll be cooking out of this book for years to come. This pot pie recipe is the first one I tried from the book (it is also on the blog). These pot pies take some time to make, but it is worth it - this is some seriously tasty vegetarian comfort food. The pastry is tender and incredibly flaky and the filling is flavorful and hearty. Given the time it takes to make these and the amount of butter in each serving, I'd say this is a once-in-a-while kind of recipe, but it is definitely worth trying. It's the perfect meal for a snowy weekend day like today.

p.s. Sorry there's no picture of the filling - once we dug in, we were too busy eating to think about taking a photo!

White bean and Swiss chard pot pies
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Serves 4

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
13 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
6 tbs sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs water, for egg wash

2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8-10 oz. Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves thinly sliced
3 tbs butter
3 tbs all-purpose flour
3 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you prefer)
2 cups cooked white beans

Special equipment: 2-cup oven-proof bowls (I used French onion soup bowls)

Make pastry:
Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized lumps of butter. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, vinegar, and ice water. Add this mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times until a rough dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times - just until dough comes together. Pat dough into a ball, flatten it a bit, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

Make filling:
Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, celery, red pepper flakes, and a few pinches of salt and cook until vegetables are softened and onions are turning golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the Swiss chard and cook until leaves are wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.

Wipe out the saucepan and melt the butter oven medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk it into the butter until well combined. Cook mixture until golden brown, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup broth and stir until mixture is combined. Repeat with another 1/2 cup broth. Repeat with 1 cup broth, and then again with all the remaining broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer sauce until it has thickened to a consistency like gravy, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove filling from heat and stir in the vegetables and white beans.

Assemble and cook pot pies:
Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Divide the filling between four 2-cup oven-proof bowls. Remove dough from fridge and divide into 4 equal pieces. Using a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a circle that is about 1-2 inches wider than the diameter of your bowls. Whisk egg wash together and brush it lightly around the outside rim of the bowls. Drape a pastry round over each bowl,  pressing it lightly to the bowl rim to adhere it to the egg wash. Brush the pastry all over with egg wash, and then cut vents in the lids to help steam escape (keep the vents small, they will expand as the pastry softens in the oven). Place bowls on a baking sheet, and wipe up any dripping egg wash.

Bake pot pies until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.

Leftover pot pies can be reheated in a 375 deg F oven - cover lids with foil if they are getting too brown.


  1. I like SK, too, but I haven't gotten her cookbook. These pot pies look so pretty and I bet the filling is delicious. It's a perfect filling for winter.

  2. can't wait to try this!! and get her cookbook- it's at the top of my list :)

  3. Your pastry dough looks SO perfect! Well done!

  4. The dough looks cute in the pot! I bet that became more delicious because white wine. A few modern wineries were fermented and used as vinegar, retaining the sour and sweet taste of wine to food.

  5. I attended a seminar that is all about knowing how to bake some pastries last month. After finishing the said seminar, aside from all the things I learned about baking, I do receive a souvenir which is to take home the chef jacket which we used in the four week seminar.

  6. Apologies accepted for the lack of pictures. :) I'm just wondering how you did those three holes there. What bowl did you use for the pie?

    1. I used French onion soup bowls to make the pot pies. For the holes, I used a sharp paring knife to cut slits in the dough before baking. Hope that helps!

  7. This is the first time I saw pot pie. I don't know about food but when I read the whole article I think this kind of dessert would definitely satisfy my delightful treats for my children.


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