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Old 06-23-2004, 04:57 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, 02:40 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, 10:24 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, 12:11 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, 12:51 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, 01:20 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, 01:26 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, 03:33 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, 04:07 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, 04:48 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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Old 10-19-2004, 07:44 AM   #11
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This recipe for Tourtiere was given to me by a very accomplished Québecois chef:

Pastry
2 cups flour
1 & 1/3 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup salt
5 & 1/3 oz. lard
1/3 cup boiling water
1 & 1/3 tsp lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten

Combine first 3 ingredients. Add about 2/3 of the lard; cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add remaining lard to boiling water and stir until melted. Stir in juice & egg and add to flour mixture, tossing with a table fork until it makes a ball; dough will be soft. Knead briefly on a floured surface and shape into a block. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least 4 hours.

Filling
1 potato, peeled
1 lb ground lean pork
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp EACH salt, dried thyme, summer savory
ÂĽ tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp allspice

Cook potato in boiling water until tender; drain, reserving 4 fl. oz. potato water; mash & set aside.

Combine pork, reserved potato water, onion, garlic, and seasonings in large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer mixture, stirring from time to time, until most of the liquid is reduced (about 25-30 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in mashed potato. Chill.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pastry. Fill with the chilled meat mixture, cover with top pastry and seal. Cut steam vents and decorate with pastry scraps cut out in the shape of holly leaves.

Bake at 450° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake 20 minutes longer – until crust is golden.
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Old 10-21-2004, 01:46 AM   #12
 
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Thanks Konditor!

I'm marking that one down, especially with the pastry instruction!
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:34 AM   #13
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My maiden name is Roy, actually, a name you don't see all that much in LA but a lot in Quebec. My grandmothers couldn't cook worth a poop (boiled dinners was it) which is why I've tried to single-handedly bring back tourtiere. It is the ONLY old traidition, food-wise. My childhood friends were all daughters of French war brides, and only one ever heard of meat pie as a holiday, late night meal tradition, so I can probably trace it there. She and I have had tourtiere competitions when we spend holidays together (very, very rarely). I'll be honest, my interest was first spiked when my Avon lady in Hawaii sold me a cookbook (I'm NOT a sucker for make-up, but am a major sucker for cookbooks) with a recipe from every country Avon sells in. In Canada it was tourtiere. I was in my late 20s and just laughed. Husband saw it and wanted to try it. At that time no one in my family had made it for easily well over a decade. Before then, I honestly didn't have a clue how to even spell it. To my childhood ears, I'd have sworn they were saying "toot care". And I grew up hearing French every day in my early years. I think we need a line about food history and traditions.
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Old 11-17-2004, 02:20 PM   #14
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Tourtiere

Bon jour:

I was born up in northern Ontario a mere 30 miles from the Quebec border. Pere Beaudry was the baker in our family. I have such fond memories of the food he used to make. He learned from his Grandmere. He loved to hunt and fish and there was never a shortage of wild game in the house. So it wasn't unusual to have wild meat in our tourtiere.

Unfortunately I don't have his recipe for meat pie. I remember the pie so well and I think I'm going to ask him for the recipe. I think I remember him adding onions and just various types of ground meat. He made a gravy right in the meat and put that all in the pie crust which was made with shortening. Then he put the top crust on and put it in the oven. I loved it with mashed potatoes, cranberries and stuffing from the turkey...Mon Dieu, such fond memories..

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Old 11-17-2004, 02:33 PM   #15
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Oh, what memories!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-17-2004, 03:30 PM   #16
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Papa Beaudry's Tourtiere

I just spoke to Pere Beaudry and this is the recipe he gave me....I am going to be brave and make this with ground turkey since I don't eat red meat. I think bison can also be used in place of the beef. I will also substitute 1/2 butter and 1/2 margerine for the shortening since I don't use it. My flour choice will be spelt. My hubby doesn't do gluten flours too well, and spelt is more easily digested. The pie crust will also be made from spelt flour.

Papa Beaudry's Tourtiere

1/2 tbsp. oil (or less if you prefer)
1 pound ground lean beef (veal or moose meat can also be used)
1 1/2 pounds ground lean pork
1 clove garlic chopped fine
1 onion chopped in medium pieces
1/4-1/2 tsp. thyme or oregano, or both
salt to taste
flour mixed in a little cold water for thickening
milk or cream to brush the top of the crust
2-9 inch shortening pie crusts

Cook the onion, garlic and spices on medium low heat in the oil until onion is transparent, add the meat. Let simmer stirring occasionally until meat is no longer pink. Make a gravy by adding the flour rue and thicken the meat mixture. Put into crust making small slits on top of the crust for steam vents. Brush the top of the pie with some milk or diluted cream for a nice shiny crust. Pere Beaudry says the meat can be dry in the pie, so the gravy keeps it moist.

Bake at 450° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake 20 minutes longer – until crust is golden.

Bon Apetit
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Old 11-17-2004, 03:33 PM   #17
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C'est formidable, DG. Now I have three recipes for this dish of my ancestors. Merci mille fois a Pere Beaudry !
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:01 PM   #18
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Tourtiere

mudbug...

You're very welcome.... j'espérez que vous appréciez le pâté en croûte.
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:03 PM   #19
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Bien sur. J'aime bien touts les viandes en croute!
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:08 PM   #20
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Thank you so very much for the recipe!!! .....something about liking meat pie????? Not that I know the first thing about French - my translator site couldn't even translate into all English - left some of them French! LOL
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