Each French Canadian family has their own version of tourtiere that gets passed down from one generation to another. The recipe I've always used is one that has been used for centuries in one family's lineage. Typically this savoury pie, also called meat pie is enjoyed on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. If you're driving through Quebec, you may even find them in grocery stores
Start with the crust:
2 cups flour
1-2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups shortening
2/3 cup ice cold water
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp white vinegar
1. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar baking powder and salt
2. Cut the shortening into small cubes and add to flour mixing with a pastry cutter until it has a mealy texture
3. Whisk together water, egg yolk, vanilla and vinegar. Stir into flour mixture (use about half of this mix initially and add as necessary). Knead dough just until smooth.
4. Wrap in film wrap and chill in the fridge at least 15 minutes prior to rolling.
5. Divide dough in 4 and roll out the two bottoms of pie plates first.
Note: If you don't see yourself making the pie crusts, using a store bought would work.
1 lb medium ground pork
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 onion grated
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
3-5 whole cloves
1/4 tsp each allspice and nutmeg
1 1/2 - 2 cups grated potato, uncooked
2 tsp ground sage (or more if you like it)
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a heavy bottom pot, add meat, onion, salt and pepper
2. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium, cooking until the pinkness leaves the meat.
3. Add bay leaves, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix well and taste. Add sage and grated potatoes and cook on medium until the liqiuid looks mostly absorbed. Take out the bay leaf and cloves.
4. Fill pastry shells. Cover with remaining dough.
5. Finish as you would any pie cut vents in the tops to allow steam to escape and coat pastry with an egg wash.
6. Bake meat pies in a 400 F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35-40 minutes.
Although this is not my picture, it does show what the inside of the pie looks like when properly cooked. ...and don't forget to serve it with a tomato based condiment; anything from chutney to ketchup.
To everyone getting together for the holidays, all the best to you and yours from Psychgrad and Giz at Equal Opportunity Kitchen!!!