Hash Brown Pot “Pie”

There’s nothing quite like a pot pie in the middle of a snowstorm. Outside, the wind howls, the sky glows orange, and the flakes make tiny drifts on the fire escape. Inside, a hot bowl of pot pie to remind you how fun snow days were as a kid: the drawn-out anticipation as you waited for your school to be called on the news; the exhilaration of sliding down an icy hill on a cardboard box; and finally, that moment when you come inside, nose runny and cheeks burning, to find that Mom’s got something hearty and hot waiting for you.

In many ways, this pot pie is exactly what your mom used to make: peas and carrots, herbes de provence, a creamy filling. In other ways, it’s not: most notably, I’ve taken the potatoes out of the filling and made them the crust. Crispy, lightly seasoned hash browns make a great crust for this pot pie: it’s like getting two comfort foods in one!

To create this crust, just take the uncooked hash browns and use your hands to pat them into place on the bottom and sides of the dish. The trick is to make sure the sides are the same thickness as the base; if they are too thin, they’ll brown up too soon.

You can add a top to the pie halfway through the second baking by adding more shredded potatoes on top. Or, if you like an open-top pot pie, skip that step.

The filling is thick and tangy from the sour cream, and cayenne lends a little verve to it, as well. I used mushroom stock to give the veggie mixture depth of taste, though I’m sure regular old vegetable stock would be fine. But I love the way the earthy tones of the mushroom, walnuts, and herbes de provence balance out the light flavors of the veggies and the creaminess of the sour cream.

A meal worth sharing, even if you’re not snowed in.