The tourtiere is a hearty and delicious meat pie, originating in Quebec and is a true French Canadian, Christmas tradition...I serve this meal every Christmas Eve. as a tribute to our Upper Canadian heritage and because I'm pretty sure my husband was a "Voyageur" in another life!
The filling for this pie can be made with any type of ground meat or game but I like to combine ground pork and veal for mine. You will also need 3 medium sized potatoes, a small onion, 1 clove of garlic, salt, pepper, celery seed, sage, ground cloves and either homemade pastry or store bought is fine too...I won't judge if you are going the pre-made route...hell, I eat store bought icing straight out of the can!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees...then in a large skillet, brown 1-1/2 lbs. of ground pork and 1 lb. of ground veal until no longer pink...drain off any grease.
While the meat is browning, peel and chop 3 medium sized potatoes...
...and bring them to a boil in a medium saucepan, cooking until tender.
Mince 1 small onion and 1 clove of garlic...
Add chopped onion and garlic to the meat, stir to combine then cover and cook until onion is tender.
Next, add the spices to the meat...3/4 tsp. of salt, 1/4 tsp. of pepper, a heaping 1/4 tsp. of sage, 1/4 tsp. of celery seed and a 1/2 tsp. of ground cloves...
Stir the spices into the meat mixture until all is combined.
Once the potatoes are tender, drain the liquid and reserve a 1/2 cup of the potato water, adding it to the meat/spice mixture...letting it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated....it gets absorbed pretty quick.
Mash the potatoes with a few shakes of salt, 2 tbsps. of butter and about a 1/4 of milk...
Using a hand masher, whip the potatoes until no longer lumpy.
Remove meat from the stove and add in the whipped potatoes...
...stirring until the potatoes and meat are all combined. Spoon filling into a 9 inch, unbaked pie shell.
Cover the top with another piece of rolled out pastry, crimp the edges and cut slits in the crust...this will allow steam to escape while baking (or you can be a total grand stander and use a maple leaf cookie cutter to create a pie that would be served at a House of Parliament luncheon! ) Brush with an egg wash if desired (1 egg beaten with 2 tbsps. of water, then using a pastry brush, brush the top of pie before baking...this creates a shiny,golden crust)...bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with cranberry relish or cold with wedges of cheese and pickle for a nice old English lunch...Enjoy!
French Canadian Tourtiere
1 -1/2 lbs. ground pork
1 lb. ground veal
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (2 tbsps. of butter & 1/4 cup of milk and a pinch of salt for mashing)
1/2 cup of reserved potato water
1 small onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
...in a large skillet, brown the pork and veal until no longer pink...add in the minced onion and garlic and cook covered, until onion is tender. Boil potatoes until tender (reserving 1/2 cup of the water)...mash potatoes with salt, butter and milk until no longer lumpy. Pour 1/2 of reserved potato water into the meat/spice mixture and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in whipped potatoes until all combined. Spoon filling into a prepared, 9 inch, unbaked pie shell. Place another piece of pastry on top of filling, crimp and brush with egg wash if desired. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.