One pan and complex flavors make this dish a popular one at my house all year round, but especially throughout winter. It’s a hearty vegan meal that makes you forget all about the fact that it is vegan. It was inspired by Anna Jones’s recipe for Mushroom and Parsnip Rosti Pie. I’m not a big fan of parsnips and neither is anyone else around here, so I use shredded potatoes instead. We love the crispy hash brown-like topping.
You could also top it with mashed potatoes, making it a much heavier meal depending on how you like to make your mash. But this would require an additional pan to clean. Leftover mash is a great thing to use in this dish if there’s enough of it.
This calls for a lot of fresh mushrooms. Just go with it. Weigh your bags of different types of mushrooms at the market to be certain that you have collected at least one and half pounds to one and three-quarters pounds in total. Any combination of mushrooms will work, so use what’s around.
In Seattle, where wild mushrooms are frequently available, I buy as many as I can afford and combine this bounty with farmed shiitake, oyster and cremini mushrooms to get the total amount I need. Portobellos work too, and sometimes I’ll throw in a couple of them. The point is to use the best of what’s available wherever you are.
Serve with fresh bread and salad or sautéed greens.
You will need a cast iron skillet and a food processor fitted with a shredding disk. If you don’t have a food processor, a box grater will work.
Note: Don’t prep the potatoes in advance. Wait until step 9 in the method described below. This avoid having raw potatoes turn an unappetizing shade of brown that impacts the appearance finished dish.
Serves 6 normal people or 4 really hungry ones.
- Olive oil.
- 800g or 1½ pounds of mushrooms (see head notes). Sliced or roughly torn.
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped.
- 1 large red onion or 2 small ones, sliced thinly.
- 2 carrots, cleaned and chopped.
- 200ml or 7oz white wine or stock.
- 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce.
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
- 1 tablespoons whole grain mustard.
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked from stems. Plus another whole sprig.
- 2 large potatoes or 3-4 smaller ones.
- Salt and pepper.
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon.
- Place a large (10-12 inches) cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add about a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add just enough sliced mushrooms to cover the bottom of the pan in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Place thyme sprig on top, and sauté until mushrooms brown and get a bit crispy around the edges. Remove the thyme sprig before transferring the mushrooms to a bowl and put it back in the pan with the next batch of mushrooms. Once cooked, remove all mushrooms to the bowl. Discard sprig of thyme.
- Heat more oil in the now empty pan. Add garlic, thyme leaves, onions, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onions and carrots are softened and beginning to brown.
- Heat the oven to 400℉ or 200℃.
- Return the mushrooms to the pan with onions and carrots. Add the wine or stock and simmer until most of it has evaporated.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, both mustards, and dried tarragon. Cook just a few more minutes until you have a rich gravy.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Turn off the heat under the pan.
- Fit a food processor with a shredding blade or get out a box grater.
- Peel potatoes and cut them into small enough pieces to fit in your food processor’s feed tube. Shred the potatoes. You can do this with a box grater, too.
- Spread the shredded potatoes over the mushroom mixture in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle all over with olive oil.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and crispy on top.