Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tourtière, French-Canadian Meat Pie

Every year I bake huge amounts for the holidays, but I never make the same things. I may repeat a cookie or two, but I like to change it up. Even the decorated sugar cookies I make come from a different recipe every time (this year's recipe was a keeper, though I doubt I'll be able to find it again next year). You may be wondering just where the cookie posts have been. I've made at least 6 kinds of cookies but not managed to get photos. Most of them were boxed up and gifted as soon as they cooled. You've probably had enough cookies by now anyway, right?

So, how about something a little lighter? Well, not exactly light, but to me it's not Christmas without it. Tourtière is a French-Canadian meat pie that is always served at Christmastime, usually Christmas Eve. There are many variations, using different types of meat, including wild game but I always make mine with pork. The pie is rich but not fatty, spiced and incredibly savoury. Tourtière is best served with something acidic like a chutney or homemade ketchup or beet relish in my case. Actually I don't like anything at all on it, just some of my homemade coleslaw on the side. I'll be sharing this pie with my family on Christmas Eve, and may even make another one for Christmas Day. It's so much better than turkey, trust me.

Source: Lucy Waverman, The Globe and Mail
Makes 1 double-crust pie

Crust for a double-crust pie: lard is traditional, but I used this butter one

2 tablespoons oil
3 cups chopped onions
1 kilogram/2 pounds ground pork
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon ground allspice (I used 2 allspice berries, ground)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves (I used 2 whole cloves, ground)
generous ¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons dried savoury
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2-3 tablespoons oatmeal
  1. Saute onions over medium heat until softened and brown. Increase heat and add pork, breaking it up and sauteing until no longer pink. Add garlic and all spices and saute for another few minutes, stirring and continuing to break up the pork. Drain fat if necessary. Add broth and oatmeal and simmer, covered for 45 minutes, until thick. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 450℉. Roll out half of pastry and line a 9" deep pie plate. Fill with meat mixture and top with crust. Flute edges and make slits in pastry for steam to escape. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375℉ and bake for another 35-45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving. Serve warm or cold.


Valerie Gamine said...

This looks soooo good! I love meat when it's inside a buttery crust and accompanied by onions!

(Also, you've put me in a sugar cookie-making mood. Thanks. ) :D

A Canadian Foodie said...

Pure perfection. I have never seen one so beautiful. I have kept this recipe with your name on it!

Valérie said...

Yummmm.... I've been wanting to make this, can you believe I've never had tourtière for Christmas! It looks so good! Happy holidays!

A Canadian Foodie said...

All three of us are Valeries - Amazing! I wanted to stop by and wish one of my favourite food bloggers a happy and prolific 2012!

Rambling Tart said...

Oh Mary, I ADORE THIS RECIPE!! :-) I am such a passionate fan of homemade meat pies and this one is so enchanting with the interesting spices. Can't wait to try it. :-)

lagatta à montréal said...

Bonjour de Montréal!

I made mine with DUCK this year. I've also made them weith bison or venison, but those are very lean so you have to add some fattier meat (pork or lamb) or duck fat!

My tourtière is pretty too, as I make it in a metal tart/quiche pan with the bottom that fits into the sides.

Lisa said...

Oh, Mary..catching up on all my fav blogs after all the holiday hoopla, grind and challenges, and I'm in dire need of this beautiful meat pie! I've heard of it before, but never tasted. Lard in the crust is a must - but I mostly use butter too lol Hope you had an amazing X-Mas and Happy New Year!!