Mushroom Bacon Savory Pie with Potato Crust

Serves 8
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Active Work Time:  about 45 minutes

For the potato crust:
4 cups raw, peeled and finely shredded Idaho potatoes
1 lightly beaten egg
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh tarragon
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
For the filling:
7 strips applewood smoked bacon
Olive oil for the pan
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced brown onion
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1-pound Crimini mushrooms
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh tarragon
8 eggs
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

To make the potato crust: Use a food processor fitted with the fine grater attachment -- or a hand held fine grater -- to grate the potatoes.  (The former is much easier!)

As you grate the potatoes, add them to a large strainer over a big bowl. Then use your hands to squeeze as much liquid out of the potatoes as possible.  Potatoes have a very high water content, so you'll be surprised at the quantity of liquid that you can actually "wring out" the potatoes!

Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl with the egg, salt, tarragon, olive oil and a few turns of pepper.  Mix until everything is evenly incorporated.

Gently press the potato mixture into a 10-inch pie plate, covering the bottom and sides evenly.  Place in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes -- the potatoes along the sides should be beginning to brown.  Now reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue cooking for about another 10 minutes, until the bottom is only slightly golden brown or dry.  Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 325 degrees F.

While the crust is baking, cook the bacon in a large sauté pan and set it aside on a plate with a paper towel to drain.  (Don't clean this pan!)

To make the filling: Add the onions and garlic in the pan with the bacon grease.  Over medium heat, cook the onions until they're soft and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms in two batches and cook until they are nicely browned and until no liquid remains in the pan, about 10 to 15 minutes.  (If the pan is looking dry at any point before the mushrooms are cooked, add a bit of olive oil.) Deglaze the pan with the sherry and use a flat wooden spatula to scrape any delicious bits of mushroom and onion off the bottom and into the mixture.  Cook until all of the sherry has been cooked off.  Add the tarragon and season generously with salt and pepper.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the eggs just until they are well-blended.  Season them with salt and pepper.

Assemble:  Place the cooked bacon strips in one layer over the potato crust.  Add the mushroom mixture on top of the bacon and pour the egg evenly over everything.  Sprinkle the top with the grated Gruyère cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven just until the egg solidifies, about 30 minutes.  If the top hasn't browned, place the pie under the broiler for about 30 seconds. Cover the pie loosely with foil and let it sit for at about 20 minutes before serving.

Up to 1 day and at least 2 hours ahead of time: Make the crust.
Up to 1 hour ahead of time: Cook the bacon.
Up to 1 days and at least 1 hour ahead of time: Make the filling.
The above timeline is great -- however this is a dish that, once assembled, seems to get better and better each day!  Yay!  So... you can make and assemble the whole pie up to 3 days ahead of time!  (Reheat the pie in a 325 degree F oven about 30 minutes before serving.)


Vegetarian?  Omit the bacon and start cooking the onion and garlic with olive oil.

Please don't worry if the bottom of your potato crust appears less cooked than the sides.  It will cook more with the filling and the texture will be divine, and a lovely contrast to the crispy sides.

©2011 Cooking On The Weekends/Blazingbright Inc.