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Old 06-23-2004, 05:57 AM   #1
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Tourtiere - Canadian French Meat Pie

TOURTIERE (Canadian French Meat Pie)

This is a Canadian French tradition for the holidays that is sometimes overlooked as a year-round entree.

2 lbs. ground lean pork
1 lb. ground lean beef chuck
2 lg. onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 tsp. salt
1/2 to 2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1 c. water
3 med. potatoes, mashed
2 pkgs. pie crust mix

Combine pork, beef, onion and garlic in large heated skillet. Cook, stirring often until meats lose pink color. Stir in poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, celery, sage and water. Cover. Simmer 20 minutes. Uncover, simmer 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir in mashed potatoes. Cool. Prepare pie crust mix. Divide into fourths. Put crust into 9-inch pie shell, spoon half of cooled meat mixture into shell. Fold over edges of crust. Brush with egg. Put on top crust. Trim. Brush with egg. Cut slits in middle. Repeat for second pie. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 25 minutes. Bake and freeze or serve right away. Makes two pies.

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Old 09-04-2004, 03:40 PM   #2
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How funny! You almost never see anyone make this. I do it every holiday season, but you are right. It is particularly good on a brunch buffet and is super picnic food. I have a hard time some places getting good ground pork (the stores in Florida wouldn't grind it to order), so have taken to making mine with a combination of Jimmy Dean sage sausage and lean ground turkey. Rather than making it with potatoes, I use instant mashed potato flakes as a thickener. I once made it as my contribution to a Hawaiian Christmas Eve buffet and it was a huge hit, once everyone got used to the idea of a savory pie. I'm not a great baker, so use the little dough boy's crust.
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:24 AM   #3
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In Québec, tourtière is traditionally served on Christmas eve. Although I do not live in that province, every February I like to bake this dish on a chilly late afternoon during the Québec City Winter Carnival. Either of two recipes are prepared:

1) Using a lard pastry, the filling comprises equal amounts of ground beef, pork, & veal, plus a chopped onion, salt & pepper, all ingredients are simmer in water for about 20 minutes, then white-bread cubes are stirred in to the mixture to aborb excess liquid. The pie is baked at 400°.

2) For an alternate version I make sour cream pastry. Celery, onion, and garlic are sautéed; then ground pork & veal are crumbled on top of the vegetables; after the meat is browned, I add water & seasonings (including cinnamon).
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Old 10-18-2004, 01:11 PM   #4
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I have used a cream cheese based pastry before, but it made the pie too rich and filling (delicous though it was, a few bites and you were full). In our family, Christmas eve midnight mass time would roll around. All but one or two of the adults would head out for mass, the remaining adult(s) would bring out all the Santa and/or outsized (i.e., bicycles and such) presents and put them under the tree. When the home adults heard the others returning from mass, they'd grab a set of bells and start ringing them and yell that they just saw Santa Clause leave. The children would wake (it's about 1 a.m.) and we'd open presents. Among much drinking and frivolity, we'd all eat tourtiere and beets. Has anyone else heard of the beets tradition with tourtiere?
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Old 10-18-2004, 01:51 PM   #5
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What a great story!!!! I haven't heard of beets with Tourtiere but I live way down in North Carolina!!!! Sounds good to me!!!
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:20 PM   #6
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Oh, yes, I suppose I should have mentioned that my family is Quebecoise in origins; my father's family from Ham Nord and Thetford Mines. My mother's family we have no idea about. I jokingly call us "frost backs" (as opposed to wet back) because much of my family arrived in the US by, if not illegal means, certainly borderline, in the early 1900s. I think tourtiere (and singing) are the only reminents of the old style life, and both are going away. Sad. Tourtiere went away for years because, face it, it can be very heavy. But my husband, and one of my sisters', love it, so it is making a bit of a revival. I'm trying to find the source of the beets because I have run into a few people familiar with the pie, but not the beets, which were absolutely a part of the tradition when I was a child.
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:26 PM   #7
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The tourtiere is the first recipe I made from this board. Did it kinda wrong meatwise, but family loved it anyway. Will make it again, but not with beets (sorry, Claire - we just don't like 'em here).
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:33 PM   #8
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I assume with a nom de plume of mudbug, you have some cajun in you. So you're bound to love tourtiere, although the traiditiion isn't found in LA that I know of. My family just didn't leave Canada when the other French moved to Louisiana. Mother's maiden name: Landry. Same blood in there somewhere!
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Old 10-18-2004, 05:07 PM   #9
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OMG, Claire. Landry is MY maiden name! Seems to me that just about every third or fourth person in Lousiana also has that name (if you don't count the Thibodeaux's). There's even a St. Landry parish. You're correct in that my Frenchie ancestors were the ones who left (got kicked out of) Canada and settled in Acadiana. I believe a lot of them originated from the Brittany coast of France.

For a while I was married to a Beaupre. Ever hear that one?
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:48 AM   #10
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I grew up in the Adirondack Region of New York State, and Canadin Meat Pie was a traditional Christmas Eve treat for just about every family in town.

I have made it several times, but the bottom crust is kind of soggy. Any ideas? :?: :)
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