Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Eating the Americas: French-Canadian Tourtiere

Eating the Americas

I know. The school year ended long ago, and everyone thought we had finished the Eating the Americas project. Not quite. There were still recipes on the list that I wanted to try, even if it wasn't 'officially' during the school year. One dish that I had intended for us to have quite awhile ago is Tourtiere, a French-Canadian meat pie that originated in Quebec. Variations of the dish are also common in other French-Canadian areas, such as St Boniface in Manitoba, as well as in many parts of New England. The dish may or may not include root vegetables. The way I make it is probably the most common - with a mixture of finely ground pork and beef - but other meats are used as well. Basically, whatever is available! What makes Tourtiere different from other meat pies is the use of allspice and cloves.

The meats and seasonings are boiled and simmered, not fried. I'm less likely to overcook the meat (ever had a dish made with scramble-fried ground beef, and it has crispy bits in it? Not a big deal, but I hate when I do that. I have never yet overcooked Tourtiere filling. Just saying.) It's best with meat that is very finely ground, which I didn't have on hand last week. 

French-Canadian Tourtiere
Pastry for 4 pie crusts (your own recipe, or use a mix or refrigerated pie crusts)

1 pound ground pork
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped fine - or use onion powder
1/2 tsp allspice
pinch of ground cloves
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 cups water

3/4 cup mashed potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes, or substitute bread crumbs)

Prepare the pastry, and line two 9-inch pie plates. 

Put all the ingredients except the potatoes into a Dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and stir. The mixture should be moist and thick. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for a bit. Fill the two pastry-lined pie plates with meat mixture. Cover with pastry, seal and crimp the edges, dampening with water if necessary. Cut several slits in the top crust. Bake at 375*F for one hour, until browned. 

You may also cut the recipe in half, and make one deep dish 10-inch pie, or two 8-inch pies.

Oops, the crust broke. I'll just eat it...

Personally, I love this meat pie. I insist on making it for Pi Day (March 14, in case you were not aware of this important annual occasion!) each year, at the very least. My kids aren't as crazy about it, but they don't have any big objections either. I serve it with vegetables on the side, although you could certainly add chopped root vegetables to the mixture. I usually use leftover mashed potatoes in the filling, but if I don't have any on hand, the bread crumbs work just fine, and then I make potatoes as a side dish. The hubster and I squirt some ketchup on top of our slices of Tourtiere, but I hear that in some places it's eaten with maple syrup (so Canadian!) or even molasses. As much as I love maple syrup, I'm not sure how I'd feel about that. Maybe next time I make a Tourtiere, I'll put the syrup on the dinner table and see what happens. I'm sure Buddy the Elf would approve.

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Joelle said...

I'll have to try this. Meat pies are usually tasty!

Lisa Boyle said...

I love all of the recipes you have made with your project! Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I look forward to seeing what you'll share this week. http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2014/08/try-new-recipe-tuesday-august-12.html

the Mcclanahan 7 said...

My daughter has been wanting to make this. It looks yummy!

kewkew said...

Sorry it took me so long to stop by and check out this recipe. I am so thankful you mentioned it over on my blog. We spent longer in Canada lessons than planned and are only know done, so we are having this tonight, with some slight modifications to make it Trim Healthy Mama friendly. Will let you know how it turns out.

kewkew said...

I'm now on my third time making this tasty recipe and thought I'd let you know. we made it back in 2017, then just this past fall as we were back to our Canada lessons again. Today, we are making it for Pi day.

Kym said...

Thank you for letting me know! I'm glad you like it! I didn't make it for Pi Day this year but I thought about and want to make it soon!

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