Adelynne my daughter, entered a competition called “Field to Fork Challenge” where you must make a recipe using BC grown and produced ingredients.
She was instantly drawn to this challenge as not only does she like to bake and create, she has experience in ‘BC grown and produced’ ingredients as we are hunters, gatherers, anglers and growers. We also shop local when and where possible; plus we trade with our neighbors!
The minute she walked in the door with the piece of paper that highlighted this competition, she started to spout all her ideas of the many things she could make using ingredients that we have grown, hunted, fished, or foraged for.
I literally could see dollar signs dancing in her eyes (she could win monetary prizes if her recipe is chosen). It was great to see her enthusiasm and it was contagious. This is what we do…we use as much local foods as we can possibly can in our meals…especially dinners. Adelynne is no stranger to it and she is often participating, gathering, preparing, or even just providing simple feedback of the food we make in our house.
After discussing the many recipe possibilities, she settled on a version of ‘chicken pot pie’. But instead of chicken, we would use grouse, and instead of broccoli, we would use fiddleheads that we collected in the spring.
We would also use lovage, garlic chives, savory and sage grown in our garden or our friends garden, and we would use our own garden potatoes. We would even use milk and eggs that are produced in BC.
Wild mushrooms she figured, were must in this recipe as it’s mushroom season. Something we could forage for and that’s close by is the Late Fall Oyster mushroom (Sarcomyxa serotina). If we were willing to drive the distance and if we had the time, we would have went and gathered Hedgehogs or Yellowfoot Chanterelles. But time did not permit and the Late Fall Oyster was a great addition to the Pot Pie regardless.
In the end, this recipe used a plethora of BC grown and produced ingredients and as a bonus, it was a ton of fun to make. Adelynne had such determination and focus in every step of the process.
The biggest and first thing we needed to do was to get a grouse. Any grouse, Ruffed or Spruce. It didn’t matter.
With only 3 weeks lefts of the competition (and me and her Dad away for a week of that), we made a time line of what to do…the recipe was drafted and the timeline was set out.
Once my husband and I got back from our hunting trip, it was time to get onto Adelynne’s project. We piled into the truck and went off to harvest some grouse. Adelynne was set on getting her own. After missing many with the .22, she finally connected with one. We only needed one for her pot pie and despite me and her brother getting a few, she was determined to get her own. Her perseverance paid off and she got to add one to the cooler.
Not only did she and her brother get much target practice with all the grouse in the area, she had a great family day out. We all had a great family day out! There were lots of stories and laughs shared, plus the occasional shared silence as we scanned the tree line for any movement or the flutter of a grouse wing.
Hunting for grouse was not the only thing on the agenda that day – we also went fishing. We had the most epic day of fishing that we have had in a loooong time. We came home with 12, but we released many others, plus lost many at the boat. It was quite the action packed fishing trip.
The day couldn’t have been better; we were truly blessed with a bountiful and fruitful day. Lots of connections were made…with family and with the land.
With the grouse safely tucked away in the fridge, Adelynne set off to harvest the rest of the ingredients over the next couple of days. I took her to go gather the Late Fall Oysters and after that, I lifted all the potatoes boxes for her to gather the potatoes. We then moved onto harvesting the herbs and then gathered the rest of the ingredients. We decided to use a pre-made pie shell to save time. Plus we figured using a pre-made pie shell might make it easier for an older child to make this recipe in the future.
When we were thinking about this recipe, we noted that certain ingredients could be easily substituted with more common ingredients from the farm or garden such as chicken, broccoli, celery, onion and store bought button mushrooms. So if you do not hunt, forage or have certain herbs in your garden, this recipe is still possible and very adaptable.
So without further adieu, here is Adelynne’s (a.k.a Deer, Daisies and Dirt), Field to Forest Pot Pie:
• 2 prepared pie shells
• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 1 grouse with breasts removed (or one 4oz chicken breast)
• ½ cup of diced cooked potatoes
• ½ cup of chopped wild mushrooms (or store-bought mushrooms)
• ½ cup of chopped fiddleheads (or chopped broccoli crowns). If using frozen fiddleheads, thaw out.
• 1 tsp chopped fresh savory
• 1 tbsp. of chopped lovage (or 1 tbsp. finely chopped celery)
• 1 tbsp. of chopped chives (or 1 tbsp. of finely chopped onion)
• 1 tsp dried sage
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp pepper
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• 1 can of mushroom soup
• 2 tbsp. flour
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1 egg (for egg wash)
- Take out frozen pie shells and let thaw.
- Peel and dice potatoes. Boil them on stove for 20min or until soft.
- While the potatoes are boiling, continue working on your recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- On medium heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in frying pan.
- Add the two Grouse breasts and brown both sides (takes about 3 minutes per side)
- Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, dice into pieces.
- Using the same oil, sauté ½ cup of mushrooms until they release their water.
- Add ½ cup of fiddleheads to the mushrooms and sauté until they release their water and the mushrooms and fiddleheads are slightly browned.
- Add to a mixing bowl.
- Place diced Grouse into mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp of lovage, 1 tsp of savory, 1 tsp of minced garlic, 1tsp of salt, ½ tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of dried sage, and 1 tbsp of chives. Mix well.
12) In a saucepan, add 1 can of mushroom soup, 2 tbsp of flour and ¾ cup of milk. Warm and stir well until combined and mixture is smooth.
13) Add the cream sauce to the other bowl. Mix well.
14) Take combined mixture and pour into one pie shell. Be careful not to overfill!
15) Break egg into small bowl and whisk the egg until blended. This will be your egg wash. Using a pastry brush, dip the brush into the egg wash and coat the edge of the pie shell with the egg wash.
16) Take the other pie shell and place on top of the bottom pie shell and seal the edges using a pinching method.
17) Using a knife, mark the top of the pie shell with a few slits…or a fun simple design. You can use a cookie cutter to make a fun design on the top of your pie crust! This allows for steam to escape.
18) Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown.
19) Let sit for 10 minutes.
20) Slice into servings and enjoy!