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Mushroom and Asparagus Potato Top Pie

A classic family meal with a twist – this potato top pie has mushrooms and asparagus paired for the filling. Very easy to make and a good healthy family meal in one.

Mushroom and Asparagus Potato Top Pie
A classic family meal with a twist - this potato top pie has mushrooms and asparagus paired for the filling. Very easy to make and a good healthy family meal in one.
Ingredients
  • 225 g fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 900 g mixed fresh mushrooms (button, cremini, chanterelle, shiitake, oyster), cleaned, stemmed, and cut into 1 cm chunks
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅔ cup dry sherry
  • 1½ cups low-salt chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter mixed with 1 tablespoon flour to form a smooth paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For mashed potato topping
  • 1.25 kg medium-starch potatoes, peeled and cut into 5 cm chunks
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • ⅔ cup light cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus, and blanch until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet, heat until foaming and add about half of the mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat until browned and the mushrooms have released their juices, 10 to 15 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook until the mushrooms are dry and nicely browned. Transfer them to a bowl and reserve. Add another 2 tablespoons butter and cook the second half of the mushrooms in the same way. Transfer them from the pan to the other mushrooms.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium high. Add the last 1 tablespoon butter and sauté the shallot, spring onions, and garlic for about 2 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan by scraping up any browned juices. Boil until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze. Add the stock, tomato paste, and thyme. Simmer for a few minutes, and then whisk in the butter paste bit by bit. Simmer another minute until the sauce thickens a bit. Add the cooked asparagus and mushrooms to the sauce, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 2 litre baking dish.
  4. Heat the oven to 190°C. Drop spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes on the mushroom filling and spread gently to form an even (but not too smooth) layer. Bake in the hot oven until the potatoes are light brown and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes.
For mashed potatoes
  1. Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are very soft and starting to fall apart, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes well, return them to the pot, and mash with a potato masher, a fork, or a sturdy whisk (or use a food mill), adding the cream and butter a little at a time as you mash. Make the potatoes as lumpy or as smooth as you like, but don't keep mashing once they're smooth or they may become gluey. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Notes
To make the deep flavours of this dish even more complex and delicious, add some dried porcini: soak about ⅓ cup dried porcini in hot water to cover; when soft, chop the porcini and add them to the fresh mushrooms after they're cooked. Use about ½ cup of the soaking liquid in place of ½ cup of the stock (be careful not to include any grit that has accumulated on the bottom of the bowl).


 

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