Heavens to murgatroyd, these are good! Another bit of fabulousness from Smitten Kitchen – though, again, Kyla told me I HAD to make them, so I made them a lot sooner than I probably would have. I’m sure you could attempt some ingredient swapping, but the pancetta and swiss chard hold up much better in the sauce than I would imagine bacon and/or spinach to, and Deb Perlman lists a lovely pastry topper, but I used my regular Brown Sugar Pastry that I always have in the freezer – enjoy!
Pancetta, White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies
Enough pastry for a single pie crust.
Egg wash – 1 egg, beaten with 1 T. of water for brushing on the pastry.
2 T. olive oil
150 g diced pancetta
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot AND 1 celery stalk – diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (optional and/or to taste)
salt and freshly ground pepper
4-5 c. thinly sliced Swiss chard leaves – usually 1 large bunch with stems removed – I also really like kale
3 1/2 T. EACH butter AND flour
~1 L good chicken broth
1 can (540 mL/19 oz) white beans
Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and brown the pancetta, stirring frequently, until it’s evenly crisp on all sides – 5 to 10 minutes. Remove it with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel to drain, add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pancetta fat and add in the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and about a half teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground pepper and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables have all softened. Add the chard and cook for just a couple of minutes until wilted, then check for seasonings and transfer all to a bowl with the drained pancetta. Set this aside for a bit.
Wipe the excess oil out of the skillet and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined and then continue to cook and whisk until the mixture starts to brown just a touch. Whisk in the broth, about a half cup at a time, heating and whisking and making sure all of the browned bits are being scraped up off the bottom. After about 3 1/2 cups of broth have been added, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and allow it to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until it’s thick and gravy-like, or it’s a consistency that you prefer – feel free to add more broth if you wish. Taste again for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as required, then stir in the bowl of vegetables and pancetta and the white beans.
To assemble – Preheat the oven to 375, place 4, 2-cup oven-proof bowls on a parchment lined baking sheet, and roll out your pastry as you would. Fill each bowl to about 3/4’s full – you may have a touch of filling left over, I recommend just eating it. Cut out rough over-large circles of pastry to top each bowl, pinching the pastry lightly around the edges so it doesn’t slide into the filling and cutting a small vent through the middle of each pastry lid. Brush all 4 lids with the egg wash and bake for 30-40 minutes until the crust is a lovely brown and the filling is bubbling. I’m sure these would be terrific with a salad and a crusty loaf, but we enjoyed them straight up (the girls LOVED having their own pot pie, I did 2 smaller ones for them), and all of us wanted more.