Pearl Oyster Mushroom Pot Pie

Pearl Oyster Mushroom Pot Pie

Black Pearls are a 2-for-1 mushroom. The massive base of the cluster is a favorite for creating a rich mushroom stock, leaving substantial stems and caps for a savory sauté. This recipe uses both the mushroom stem and caps - trim them from the base of the cluster and set aside the base to make a separate mushroom stock for later use. This stew is best when the vegetables are just lightly cooked, just to tender, so the whole meal can be ready, biscuits and all, in under an hour. Serve with biscuits on the side (there will be some leftover for jam or honey), or top the stew with squares of the biscuit dough to make a glorious pot pie. Bake at 450F until biscuits are golden brown. Note: If you are making a pot pie, make sure the stew is hot when you top it with biscuit dough.

1/2 c chopped red onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
2/3 c cubed parsnips, turnip or rutabaga
1 large carrot, cubed
1/2-3/4 lb chopped Black Pearl Oyster
1/3 of a medium cauliflower, separated into little florets
3 stalks chopped celery, chopped 
1/4 c white wine (optional)
2 T oil
1/2 c white beans, cooked (optional)
2 T flour
1/4 c white wine (optional)
2 c water or broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Heat oil in a heavy stock pan and sauté onion and garlic. Add mushrooms, root vegetables and sauté until they start to brown a little. Add flour and toast a few minutes. Deglaze with wine, add water, beans and herbs. Season to taste. Cook until just tender (approx. 15 minutes). Serve hot with biscuits.

Classic Baking Powder Biscuits
These biscuits are a classic recipe from my mother's British roots. It is the best reason to have a supply of cream of tartar on hand. There is no better recipe.

Mix together:
2 c. unbleached flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Cut in 1/2 c chilled, unsalted butter to achieve a small pea sized flour/butter mix. Gently stir in 2/3 c buttermilk, chilled (you will need more buttermilk if you don't sift the flour). Toss into a cohesive mass. Pat or gently roll into a 12 x 12 inch square. Cut into 9 squares and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 450F until browned to your liking.