Sunday, December 18, 2016


Christmas Eve dinner at my house this year:

Tourtière is a traditional Québecois meat pie typically served around Christmastime.

Classic French Canadian Tourtière

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium-large baked potatoes, mashed with skins removed (or about 1 cup of mashed potatoes)
3/4 cup beef or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt

For the Butter Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cup flour of choice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes - VERY COLD
1 cup ice cold water

For the egg wash:
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water

In a large skillet or wok, combine the finely chopped onion with the olive oil and sautée for about 10 minutes on medium heat, until onions are soft and golden.

With your hands, mix the ground pork and beef together in a bowl. Add the mixed ground meat to the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring it to break up the meat so it doesn't clump together.

Add all the remaining ingredients (broth, spices, mashed potato, salt and pepper) and mix together.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Taste the meat mixture and add a bit more salt, pepper, or spices, to suit your preferences. Cool in the fridge for about 2 hours, until completely chilled. (You can do this the day before).

To make the pastry:
Using a food processor or a pastry blender, chop up the butter into the flour and salt until it is small and crumbly, the size of very small peas.

Pour in 1/2 cup of the ice cold water and mix into the flour.

Add more water, 1 tablespoonful at a time, until the dough comes together into a ball. DON'T OVER PROCESS - use your hands to get the mass to finally come together.

Form two balls and flatten them slightly into discs. Wrap and cover them in wax paper or plastic, and let them rest in the fridge for 1 hour.  (You can do this the day before, too)

Remove from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Roll out each disc on a floured surface to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. (Or use premade crust if time is a pinch)

Line a 9 inch pie plate with the first circle of dough. Spoon in all the meat filling, patting it down lightly to compress it a bit.

Brush the pie rim with water and place the second circle of dough on top, pressing the edges together to seal. Trim and flute as desired.  I like to use little mini-cutters on left-over crust dough and "glue them on with the egg wash.

The egg wash is what will give your tourtière a golden glow, so don't skip this step! Beat the egg and water together and brush the mixture all over the top of the crust and around the edges.
Cut some steam vents on top of your pie. (or cut out three designs with those mini-cutters.

With the rack in the bottom third of the oven, bake at 375F for about 50 minutes or until the top of the crust is golden.

Yield: Makes 1 meat pie, about 8 servings

Traditionally served with a good tomato-based ketchup - I love Stonewall Kitchen's with this.

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