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Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie
Perfect for warming up on a windy day.
Makes 6-8 Servings
1/2 cup dried mushrooms, such as
porcini or a mix
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds fresh mushrooms, in chunks (I use a mix of shiitake, elephant ear, and cremini; all cremini is also fine)
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
1 3/4 to 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, in chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2/3 cup milk or buttermilk
Smoked or regular paprika and/or
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Prepare the mushrooms
In a small bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and boiling water. Set aside for 30 min- utes (while you continue with the other steps), then drain, reserving the soaking water, and chop the rehydrated mushrooms into small bits. If the soaking water has any sand or grit at the bottom, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer.
Meanwhile, prepare the lid
Place the potatoes in a medium pot, and cover them with a couple inches of salted water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced in the center with a knife or skewer. Drain, and either rice the potatoes into a large bowl, or place them in the bottom of a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the butter, salt, and pepper, and stir. The heat from the potatoes should melt the butter. Add the crème fraîche and the milk, and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the vegetables
In a large pan (4-quart, or an 11-inch deep skillet or braiser), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, salt, and pepper, and sauté until the vegetables begin to color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add fresh mushrooms, salt, and pepper, increase the heat to high, and cook the mushrooms until they brown and soften, releasing their juices, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the sherry, and scrape up any stuck bits. Add the tomato paste, and stir to combine. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and their liquid, plus the stock. Season again if needed, and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are coated in a thick sauce.
Bake the pie
If your skillet is oven-safe, you can bake the pie in it. If not, transfer the mixture to a 2-to-3-quart bak- ing dish. Scoop the potatoes in large spoonfuls all over the top of the mushrooms, then use the back of your spoon to spread them smooth all the way to the edges, forming a seal.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Garnish with a dusting of paprika and/or parsley. Scoop and serve.
This keeps for 5 days in the fridge and longer in the freezer. Rewarm it in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Excerpted from “Smitten Kitchen Every Day” by Deb Perelman. Text and photographs copyright © 2017 Deb Perelman. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.