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- Meat and poultry
- Beef pie
Tourtière is a French Canadian meat pie, mostly enjoyed during Christmastime, but delicious year round. People usually make batches of them in November and freeze them for the festive season.
2 people made this
IngredientsMakes: 1 tourtière
- 15g butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 celery stick, chopped
- 225g lean beef mince
- 225g lean pork mince
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teasppon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 120ml water or beef stock (if needed)
- 1 recipe pastry for a 23cm pie with lid
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr20min ›Extra time:30min › Ready in:2hr
- Melt butter in a saucepan; saute onion, garlic and celery over medium heat, until onion is translucent.
- Add beef, pork, salt, pepper, sage, mustard, clove and cinnamon; cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. If needed, add a little water or beef stock to avoid the meat sticking to the pan. Let cool for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 250 C / Gas 9.
- Add the meat mixture to prepared pastry case, then cover with the pastry lid. Pinch edges to seal, then make 2 to 3 slits on the lid for steam to escape.
- Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 180 C / Gas 4 and bake until pastry is golden and meat is hot, about 30 minutes. If the pastry browns too quickly, cover with aluminium foil.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)
- INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a saucepan, combine pork, beef, onion, garlic, water, salt, thyme, sage, black pepper and cloves. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked, about 5 minutes. Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust. Place top crust on top of pie and pinch edges to seal. Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape. Cover edges of pie with strips of aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, remove foil and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.
Making the perfect pie crust
The key to a good tourtière (or any pie for that matter) is to start with a good crust. Because it doesn’t matter how good the filing is, if your crust is too tough or too soggy it ruins the whole pie. I always start with this recipe for perfect, flaky pie crust and it never fails me.
I like to use lard in place of butter for this pie because I just love the extra flaky texture it give this crust, but butter works just as well. You can make your crust in advance (either make it the night before you plan on baking and put it in the fridge, or keep in the fridge for up to three days, or you can even make your crust ahead and freeze it for up to three months and put it in the fridge to thaw the night before baking day). OR you can make it the same day and just pop it in the fridge to chill for an hour or so while you make your filling.
The crust, which is a chef's prerogative to chose butter or shortening, was well developed and tasty, but I will go back to my routes and go with the shortening crust for the divine filling. I grew up on tourtières every holiday season, but nothing came close to this complex, heavenly meat pie. It is now a requisite meal for New Year's Day. Thank you for bringing back a childhood memory and improving upon it.
This tourtière stacks up with all the ones I consumed in my childhood - it warms my Québecoise heart. The filing is savory and has the right combination of spice - please don't make bland tourtière! The addition of pulled pork really takes this pie to the next level (short of making one with traditional game meat). Iɽ make a lard-based crust though - the butter can be hard to handle.
Dough was impossible to roll out straight out of the fridge. I love butter, but this crust was way too much. The whole pie tasted like eating a stick of butter! The filling was very tasty, I would try this again with a different crust.
So delicious! I gilded the lilly by serving the tourtiere with a rich brown sauce, although it was not necessary. The tourtiere was moist without it and the crust was out of this world. My English guests who love meat pies are converts to the Canadian way. I can't wait to make it again.
What an amazing recipe! Most of the recipes I try turn out to be just food. This is an extravaganza! It is well worth the 7 hours of time from beginning to end, and I'll do it again for sure. My production comments are: 1. after 2 hours of brazing the meat there was no juice left, so I had to add some stock to the pot and mix it in after the meat was removed. 2. I added 2 star anise to the brazing liquid and it added another layer of flavor. The pie dough is VERY hard after several hours in the fridge. Took a lot of rolling to get it flat, and I didnt expect the dough to be so thick either. But I know that and it was delicious all by itself. All in all a great meal! Thanks
This is a wonderful treat! I had a tortiere once many years ago at someone's home and it was bland and boring. I made this recipe for the holidays and I am impressed! The crust in this recipe is so buttery and complimentary to the filling that you must try it! Mine was easy to make and delicious and I didn't even do it correctly. I didn't remember to just pulse the butter and flour carefully until it's pea-sized lumps. I turned on the Cuisinart and let it blend. Despite my concern that Iɽ ruined it, the crust was still delicious. The "pie" would not be nearly as good with a regular pie crust. I would make it again just as written. The flavor is subtle, but good. Sometimes I eat it with catsup and sometimes not. I'm so glad I tried this. Most of it went into my freezer. I take it out a wedge at a time when I want something homemade and satisfying. So hearty and delicious!
In my previous review I managed to "toot, toot" my horn. I regret that I neglected to acknowledge and give thanks to Chef Martin Picard who contributed this wonderful recipe for all to enjoy. Merci Monsieur Picard, and blessings.
I made this recipe twice this week. The 1st effort was a "test run" wherein I followed the recipe exactly, except for the crust. The 2nd effort included the following changes: 1. I doubled the spices, and included "all spice". I used a mortar and pestle to insure fresh scent and flavour. I found the original version a tad bland. 2. Instead of using grated potato to bind the filling, I microwaved 2 large russet potatoes, scooped out the filling, mashed them well, and worked them into the meat mixture on the stove top. I think this improved the overall texture of the tourtiere and helped to minimize crumbling when cut. 3. I used an all-lard crust followed the directions on the package of Tenderflake Pure Lard--used half the package and adjusted other ingredients. I enjoy an all butter crust but the quantities stated in this recipe don't make sense at all. Lard is a great choice. I added 1 TBSP fresh thyme to the pastry ingredients just to perk it up a little. 4. For decoration on top, I used a large pig cookie cutter (about 3.75 ") in the middle of the crust. After placing the top crust over the meat filling, I repositioned the large pig cut out in the space/gap on the top crust. This allowed for steam vents as well as maintaining the distinct pig profile. I used a mini-pig cookie cutter to punch out mini pigs to place around this pie. This tourtiere looked fabulous, and the taste was amazingly good! I now refer to this dish as "Tourtiere aux Cochons". I prepared a cranberry relish (recipe from Joy of Cooking) as an accompaniment--it's a superb choice, nice and tart! For my household and personal preferences, I feel my changes/adjustments improved this dish substantially. And do prepare this dish 1 day in advance--these flavours need time to develop.
I have been looking for a tourtiere recipe for over 20 years after having had a delicious one in Quebec. After trying at least 10 recipes, this is the BEST one I have ever made. The only change I made was adding about 1/2 tsp Celery Salt. (I did also use frozen pie crusts). The braised pork I think makes it.
4 forks for the filling, 1 (or zero) for the crust. Agree with other reviewers, I don't know what's wrong with the crust recipe but it's pretty bad. My bottom crust, which is essentially pure butter, melted into a puddle with half disappearing into the pie and half coating the baking sheet it sat on in the oven. The top crust I was never able to place on the tourtiere because it was too buttery/gooey to roll so I threw it out and topped it with a puff pastry. Would make the filling again, either in a store bought shell with puff pastry top, or will find another crust recipe.
Fantastic recipe! I suggest making the filling the day before then you can scoop the cooled filling into the pie crust. There was plenty of the savory pork filling, but I was able to fit it into a 9" pie pan and so it made a very substantial pie. I wondered about the buttery crust but so glad I made it. Perfection. Do chill the pie, though, before baking it as the recipes instructs.
Yes, this tourtière does require a substantial amount of effort, but it is worth every single hour. Most tourtières I have had only contain ground meat, and this version is taken to a whole other level with the addition of the braised pork. It's absolutely delicious. The only change was that I used a different Paté Brisée recipe because I couldn't bring myself to adding so much butter to one pie crust.
This was really delicious, but I'm not totally sure it was worth the work and time. If I make it again, I will definitely use a different crust recipe. This one was yummy, to be sure, but it was so overwhelmingly buttery that I could only eat a tiny little piece of the finished pie. I'm a huge fan of rich food, so that's really saying something. (Tip for future cooks: put a rimmed baking sheet on the shelf underneath the pie plate, to catch all the dripping butter that comes off the crust.) It certainly did warm us up on a sub-zero Minnesota evening (and we did each cooling step out on the porch, rather than heating up our fridge). It's pretty perfect for wintertime.
While this toutière takes a bit of effort to make, it's worth all of the effort. The recipe comes from a super chef in Montreal - the chef of Au Pied du Cochon, so you know it's bound to be good. I used a different paté brisée pastry, because I couldn't bring myself to use a pound of butter for one pie. I had to refill the braising liquid a few times, but everything worked out very well. It's my go-to tourtière recipe from now on!
I've been around Tourtière for 40 years and never have I been so blown away- this is a game changer. Takes time, but easy if you chunk it out over a day or 2. Pastry was light and buttery, filling was rich with depth delivered by the pulled pork. Mom said it was the best she's ever had :) Hats off, Martin Picard.
Magnificent. There is truly no other word for this recipe. I made my own crust and increased the spicing a little (extra cinnamon, a little nutmeg, mace and sage). I also added a splash of cognac and about twice as much of the cooking liquid as called for, plus a tablespoon of flour (mostly because I used a waxy potato that didn't seem to be absorbing the juices as much as a floury one would have). I would make the same changes again, and maybe add even more of the cooking liquid next time. I made the filling one day and let it cool overnight, then assembled and baked the tourtiere the next day. Super simple this way, and I think it gives the flavors in the filling time to develop.
Love love love this recipe! I've made it twice now - first time I served it the same day, second time I made it the day before. It's much better if made the day before. But either way, it's really fantastic. It's labor-intensive, but worth it. I'm terrified to make my own crust and both times used Pillsbury store-bought and it was perfectly delicious. Will make this again in the winter.
Hands down the best tourtiere I've made or tasted. I have a very generous 9in pie dish, and I would say I was a tad short on filling. It was exceptionally delicious, however, it looked like a mess once served. As long as I've been making these pies, the one thing I've learned (which I didn't do this time) is to make it the day before and re-heat. It's simply too crumbly if you try and serve the same day.
This pie is probably the best thing I've ever made in twenty-plus years of cooking. It compared favorably with the tourtières I ate growing up in northern New England and it was well worth the two-day odyssey of cooking for my family and me. The pork shoulder made the house smell amazing as it cooked, and so did the finished pie. We skipped some of the cooling times, especially toward the end, and the results were still divine. My pork shoulder was more like 2 1/2 pounds when I started, so I trimmed away a pound of it, including a big slab of fat, and made the rest into breakfast sausage for later. The pastry and filling are more than ample for a ten-inch Pyrex dish. If I hadn't, quite frankly, sampled liberally from both the pastry and the filling as I cooked, I probably would have used a larger springform pan to hold everything. Either way, it you're feeding any more than four people there's no need to worry about leftovers. This pie is impossible to stop eating as long as you've got the tiniest unfilled nook or cranny left in your belly.
Excellent. I have been making tourtiere on Christmas Eve for many years, always with ground pork. The addition of shredded pork shoulder really gives it a lovely texture. The pastry was delicious, but I had to add at least 3/4 cup of ice water (triple what the recipe calls for). Also, with the extra meat and pastry, I made a small additional pie that I spiced with chopped roasted green chiles-- not so traditional, but just excellent.
In the midst of making this. Looks like its going to be amazing! Doubled recipe because I am going to try freezing one. Has anyone else tried this?
A show stopper. Did this in one day, but yes, 2 days would be easier. Followed recipe exactly, but used a 10 inch pyrex pie plate, and that worked just fine. Watch the liquid when braising the pork in the oven for 2 hours. I used a heavy Le Creuset dutch oven and there was no liquid left after the 2 hours. So I deglazed the pot with 1/2 cup of water and added that to the shredded pork.The final product is not what I would call a "wet" pot pie with an oozing gravy, but neither would I call it "dry". It is simply luscious and the crust is heavenly. It served 6 people generously. And all 6 are happier today than yesterday.
Update to review. I meant to say I estimated the dough needed for a regular 9 inch pie plate, not a deep dish pie plate. I had more than enough dough for a normal sized pie and the four pasties.
This recipe is outstanding. It is also time consuming because of all the cooling times. I started it late morning and ended finishing it the next day. Take the directions to mean not that is can be done the day before, but that it should be done the day before. I divided the dough into two mounds, estimating what would be needed for one for a 9in pie plate and the rest to make pasties. The pie made three meals for my husband and me and the remainder made four pasties, which I glazed with the egg wash and then froze for later use. A lot of work, but well worth the effort. I've always made my own pie crust following the Joy of Cooking directions. I didn't believe you could make a good crust in a food processor. Boy was I wrong. I followed the directions in this recipe and my husband said it was the best crust he had ever eaten. The only problem I has was that I have an old 8 cup Cuisinart and I had a bit of flour flying out of the bowl.
Absolutely delicious! This was a lot of filling so I used my 10" springform pan to bake. Added a bit of extra juice to moisten, and used allspice instead of cloves. No ground pork to be had at the market so I used ground turkey instead. It's great hot out of the oven, and maybe even better at room temperature. Will definitely be making this again.
- 1 ½ lbs (675 g) ground beef
- 1 cup (250 mL) minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp (5 mL) celery salt
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground allspice
- 2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) beef or chicken stock
- 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled
- salt, to taste
- 1 recipe savory pie dough
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 Tbsp water for brushing
- In a large sauté pan or skillet, sauté the beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat, add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, celery salt, pepper, allspice, and Worcestershire and sauté until the onions are tender about 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and bring up to a simmer. Use a box grater to grate the potato over the sauté pan and stir it in. Let the mixture simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the bay leaves and add salt to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature. This can be prepared a day in advance and chilled.
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of the pie dough to just less than the ¼-inch thickness and line a 9-inch pie plate. Fill this with the cooled tourtière mixture. Roll out the remaining dough to the same thickness, cut a hole in the center (for steam to escape) and place on top of the filling. Trim and pinch the edges of the crust together and then, brush with the egg wash. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is a rich golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing to serve.
The tourtière can be made up to 2 days in advance and reheated in a 300 °F (140 °C) oven.
Tourtiere recipe and instructions
Tourtiere is the creme de la creme of pies. Lightly spiced and herbed, this pork pie is especially anticipated for Christmas Eve celebrations, but it's equally tasty throughout the holidays and winter months. Tourtiere is completely make-ahead, delicious when turkey or chicken take over for pork and perfectly complemented by a tangy relish such as chili sauce.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1 1/2 cup beef stock
- 3 onions finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried summer savory
- 1/4 teaspoon clove
- 1 cup chopped fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Pastry for 10-inch double-crust pie
- Pastry for 9-inch double-crust pie
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon water
Flaky Pie Pastry:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cubed
- 1/2 cup cold lard or vegetable shortening cubed
- 1/4 cup water (approx)
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
Nutritional facts per each of 10 servings: about
- Fibre 2 g
- Sodium 572 mg
- Sugars 2 g
- Protein 23 g
- Calories 405.0
- Total fat 23 g
- Potassium 435 mg
- Cholesterol 111 mg
- Saturated fat 9 g
- Total carbohydrate 25 g
- Iron 21.0
- Folate 29.0
- Calcium 5.0
- Vitamin A 12.0
- Vitamin C 10.0
Filling: In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat cook pork, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain fat.
Stir in broth, onions, mushrooms, celery, garlic, salt, cinnamon, pepper, savory and cloves bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until 2 tbsp liquid remains, about 35 minutes.
Stir in bread crumbs and parsley. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
Flaky Pie Pastry: While filling is chilling, in large bowl, whisk flour with salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter and lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. In separate bowl, whisk together ice water, sour cream and egg drizzle over flour mixture, tossing with fork to form ragged dough and adding up to 1 tsp more ice water if necessary.
Divide dough in half shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)
On lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 of the pastry discs to generous 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness fit into 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Trim to fit, leaving 3/4-inch (2 cm) overhang. Scrape filling into pie shell, pressing down lightly to pack. Whisk egg yolk with 1 tsp water brush some over edge of pastry.
Roll out remaining pastry disc to generous 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness fit pastry over filling. Trim to fit, leaving 3/4-inch (2 cm) overhang fold overhang under and flute edge. Cut decorative shapes from pastry scraps. Brush some of the remaining egg mixture over pastry arrange shapes over top. Brush top all over with some of the remaining egg mixture cut steam vents in top.
Bake on rimmed baking sheet on bottom rack of 375?F (190?C) oven until filling is bubbly and bottom is golden, loosely covering with foil if top is browning too quickly, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Use our pie pastry recipe to make your double-crust tourtiere pastry.?
The Best Tourtière ( French-Canadian Meat Pie)
Tourtière– Québec pork pie. This is a tradition fondly practiced throughout Québec during the Holidays!
Essentially, tourtière is a meat pie lightly spiced ground pork layered between flaky pastry.
It’s comfort food, loved by all. It can be enjoyed for brunch, lunch, or dinner – and makes a splendid midnight feast.
Meat Pie or Tourtière is a traditional part of the Christmas and/or Christmas Eve réveillon and New Year’s eve meal in Québec.
Tourtière is a traditional French-Canadian dish served by generations of French-Canadian families.
Delectable Christmas treasure is found in the ground cloves and all-spices. We’ve always made our tourtieres in large quantities, as they freeze great making them a terrific quick-fix dinner.
Every family has its traditions. In my family, we make some Tourtières, a few weeks before Christmas. As far back as I can remember, my mom always made some large Tourtières for the réveillon and some small ones so we could enjoy the delectable pie before the Holidays!
What would the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve feasts in Canada – Réveillon – be without tourtière, the classic meat pie beloved of Quebeçois and French-Canadians everywhere?
And this isn't a strictly Canadian treat. Ex-pats in northern New England and upstate New York, both of which claim a border with French-speaking Canada, guard their family tourtière recipes just as secretively as do bakers in Montreal and Quebec City.
Recipes for tourtière can range from incredibly simple (boiled pork and onions, baked in a crust) to the sublime (gently spiced pork with onion, parsley, celery, and garlic, in a flaky, buttery crust). As my friend Jackie, a Montreal native, says, "There are as many recipes for tourtière as there are cooks in Quebec.”
In researching recipes, I found that the meat can range from pork, chicken, or beef, to lamb, veal, or even duck. Some pies are simply meat and onions others include potatoes and/or celery as well, plus an array of spices and seasonings. And while one may argue the merits of each combination of ingredients, one fact remains: woe betide the Quebeçois who neglects to bake his or her tourtière at Christmas!
After much research, and some invaluable help from both Jackie, and Sue Gray (my fellow King Arthur baker and tourtière veteran), I settled on the following recipe.
Let's start with the potato. Peel 1 large boiling potato (about 12 ounces), and cut it into 1/2" dice you'll have about 2 cups (340g) of diced potato. Yukon Gold or Chef are both good potato choices.
Put 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups (454g) water, and the diced potato in a medium saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Drain the potatoes, saving the water.
Mash about half the potatoes, leaving the other half in chunks. Set them aside.
Next, brown the meat. Choose 2 pounds ground pork or a combination of ground pork and ground beef or meatloaf mixture.
Drain off any excess fat when finished.
Add the following to the pan:
1 medium-to-large onion (about 8 ounces), diced (about 1 1/2 cups or 227g diced onion)
1 to 2 large cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
Pour in the reserved potato water.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Stirring occasionally, continue simmering the mixture for 35 minutes or so, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender.
Add the mashed potatoes and diced potatoes, stirring to combine.
Spread the filling in a shallow pan, so it'll cool more quickly. It should be just lukewarm when you spoon it into the crust.
While the filling is cooling, let's make the crust.
Put the following in a bowl:
2 1/2 cups (283g) King Arthur Perfect Pastry Blend or Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (298g)
10 tablespoons (142g) cold butter, cut into pats or diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix everything together thoroughly.
Unlike a typical American pie crust, this “short crust” shouldn't have any extra-large pieces of butter remaining the mixture should look like coarse breadcrumbs.
Drizzle in 5 to 8 tablespoons (71g to 113g) ice water (enough to make a cohesive dough), mixing all the while.
Grab the dough and press it with your fingers it should feel supple and moist, not dry. You should be able to gather it into a ball that sticks together easily.
Divide the dough into two pieces, making one slightly larger than the other. The larger piece will be the bottom crust the smaller piece, the top crust.
Shape each piece into a flattened ball, or wheel they should look like big hockey pucks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Note: make the dough ahead and refrigerate it overnight, if desired. Next day, let it warm at room temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes before rolling it out.
Unwrap the larger piece of dough, and put it on a lightly floured work surface. For ease of rolling AND cleanup, I highly recommend this silicone rolling mat.
Before rolling, select your pan. A 9” cast iron skillet offers striking presentation at the table but any 9” pie pan at least 1 1/4" deep is fine.
Roll the dough into a 13" to 14” circle (for the skillet), or 12” circle (for the pie pan).
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes this will help prevent it shrinking as it bakes.
. and transfer it to the pan, with its folded point in the center.
Unfold the crust and settle it gently into the pan.
Don't stretch it stretching is what causes crust to shrink as it bakes.
Spoon the cooled filling into the crust.
Roll the other piece of dough into a 9” to 9 1/2” circle.
Settle it atop the filling.
Fold the bottom crust over the top crust.
Cut a few vents in the top, to let the steam from the baking pie escape this will keep the crust from ballooning up.
At last – ready for the oven!
Bake the pie for 45 minutes, until it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and set it on a trivet or rack.
Allow the pie to cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes, preferably longer, before serving.
This is what happens when you serve tourtière hot from the oven it simply won't hold its shape.
So if you care about looks, wait a bit before serving.
Here's what it looks like the next day, sliced and rewarmed briefly in the microwave. Many aficionados enjoy tourtière cold or at room temperature just as much as warm.
Lard: Tenderflake brand is perhaps the best known lard in my part of the world, but lard is lard, no matter the brand. Lard differs from vegetable shortening as it is animal based, rendered fat. It bakes up differently and has a different flavour. If you'd prefer not to use lard, butter would be a better substitute than a vegetable shortening, though vegetable shortening will work.
Cake and Pastry Flour: Here in Canada, soft wheat flour is often labelled "Cake and Pastry Flour". Monarch makes a popular brand of this flour here (look for it in the red checkered bag!). Any soft flour labelled as cake or pastry flour is what you need.
Ground Pork: I prefer an all pork pie, but you can use a mix of pork and beef or basically any combination of meats, as long as they are ground.
Savory: First, as a Canadian, I'm having a hard time typing the name of this herb without a "u" in it :) And yes, savory is an herb, not a spice mix and no, it doesn't have a "u" in it. This is not a spice you see in many recipes anymore, so you may not have it on hand. If you've not needed it until now, you may not want to add a whole bottle to your spice rack. You can omit, if you like (it's only 1/8 of a tsp) or a pinch of marjoram would be a decent substitute. If you do have it on hand, you may have ground savory or something labelled Summer Savory, which is generally more coarse leaves. The 1/8 tsp measurement is almost surely meant to be ground savory, so if you only have the more coarse version, use a bit more.
Bread Crusts: This is simply fresh bread crumbs really, but using the crusts so it's not mushy. The crust off any fresh bread is fine here. I wouldn't recommend dry bread crumbs, as they won't behave the same way in the filling. You can "crumble" in a food processor, if you prefer.
Reveillon Tourtière (Acadian Meat Pie)
It’s been years since I’ve made Reveillon Tourtière. So this Christmas I thought I’d brush off the old recipe and give the photos a facelift. This is a traditional meat pie that originated with 17th century French Acadian settlers of Eastern Canada and New England. On Christmas eve, or Reveillon, the family would attend midnight mass together, then return home to open their presents and feast on the fragrant and savory meat pie. I developed this recipe in 2009 for my ex’s family when the bakery that made their tourtières closed. Ten years later, his sister still makes this tourtière every Reveillon for her own family.
The thing that sets the Acadian meat pie apart is the texture and flavor of the filling. Its signature texture is like a fine loose hamburger, not dense like meatloaf. This is achieved by cooking the filling first, then quickly pulsing it a few times in the food processor to get a finer grind on the meat and chop the potatoes into smaller bits. The key to the flavor is Bell’s Seasoning, a classic poultry seasoning blend dating back to 1867, comprised of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme, and black pepper. I prefer adding the spices and adjusting the seasoning as I’m processing the already cooked meat and potatoes. Some recipes I’ve seen direct you to add the spices when the potatoes and water are added, but I found that cooking them twice dulled the flavor and I ended up having to use more. Besides, as the pie bakes, the meat has plenty of time to meld with the spices.
As meat pies go, this is very easy and forgiving. Whatever pie crust recipe you are comfortable with will work fine, and buying pre-rolled crusts makes this recipe come together even faster. If you make your own, I’m partial to all-butter pie crust. First, I prefer the flavor, and second, butter is something I always have around. I’ve seen many recipes for pie crust that substitute shortening for some of the butter for added flakiness, and I know of one home cook who even adds just a touch of baking powder to give her pie crusts a little more lift. However, I urge you to try the butter crust using the fraisage technique to blend the dough. With a little practice, you should be able to get a flaky crust every time.
all butter pie crust (for top and bottom):
2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, diced
6 Tbsp. ice water, plus more if needed
1 egg for egg wash
3 – 4 oz. salt pork, finely chopped
1/2 – 3/4 lb. ground pork
1/2 – 3/4 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, grated
1 large potato, peeled and sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Bells’ seasoning
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. water
- First prepare the pie crust. Chill the pieces of butter in the freezer.
- If you can, use a food processor to cut the butter and flour together. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour mixture and just pulse a few times until it starts to resemble to texture of wet sand, or until there are pieces of butter no bigger than a small pea. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse a few times more. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter or your hands.
- To blend the dough by fraisage , turn the dough out onto a floured surface and use the heel of your hand to smear the dough a little at a time against the board, adding more ice water a tablespoon at a time as needed. Work quickly, taking care not to let the heat of your hands melt the butter. If you have a plastic dough scraper you can use it instead of your palm and achieve similar results. Another method is to transfer the mixture to a bowl instead of turning it out on a board. Then use a rubber spatula to blend the dough by smearing it a little at a time against the side of the bowl.
- Gather the layers of dough into two discs, wrap each disc and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling.
- Meanwhile make the filling. In a large saute pan or wide saucepan, slowly render the salt pork on medium heat. Add the ground pork and ground beef and brown them.
- Drain the excess fat. This is an important step because you are also draining the excess salt from the salt pork. It’s good to reserve it for making gravy if you wish.
- Add the potatoes, onion, garlic and water. Simmer until the potatoes are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add spices and mash the potatoes and meat together. Adjusting the seasoning, adding salt if needed. Transfer the filling to a food processor, and pulse a few times to get a finer grind on the meat and chop the potatoes. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just mash all the ingredients together, but the texture will be slightly coarser than a typical tourtière.
- Cool the filling at room temperature. Meanwhile, roll out the dough and line the pie pan. If it gets too warm, refrigerate the prepared crusts briefly before filling the pie.
- Assemble the pie. The filling can be warm, but should not be so hot that it melts the pie crust. After assembling, brush the top with the egg wash, cut vents in the top, and bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the middle of the pie is hot. You may need to cover the edges of the pie with foil if they start to brown too fast.
This recipe was originally published in January 2009 and updated December, 2020
Watch the video: Préparation dune tourtière traditionnelle du Lac-Saint-Jean en 1977 (May 2022).