Everyone has a slightly different recipe and everyone pronounces it differently, but I think my family not only has the best version, we have a weirdest pronunciation of this French Canadian dish (of course). Tourtiére is a meat pie that we must make every holiday season, usually once for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas. I can even remember a homily one year in church on the subject of this pie that the French families of New England are so proud of. For reasons we don't know, my family is the only I know of to pronounce the word 'tour-k'.
But this is truly a taste of my childhood and I had to share a meal featuring it for the holidays. I'll be offering the recipes for the rest of the meal pictured over the coming weeks - look for them!
Serves 4 - 6
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 medium potato, cubed
- salt and pepper to taste
- your favorite pie crust recipe for a shell and a top
1.) Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add onion and gently sautée until softened, about 5 mins. Add the ground meats, breaking them up with a wooden spoon as you add them. Adding just a splash of water (I used maybe 1/8 c.), turn the heat down very low, cover, and let simmer very gently for 45 minutes to an hour. You can check the meat from time to time, adding just a splash of water if the mixture seems very dry. You don't want a soggy mixture but the pie will be too dry if there isn't a touch of moisture.
2.) Meanwhile, put the potato in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cook the potato until it is tender. Drain and mash without adding anything. Set aside.
3.) Take the pan of beef and pork off the stove and stir in the potato and the spices, salt, and pepper. As the mixture is fully cooked, be sure to add these ingredients to taste.
4.) Preheat the oven to 350° F. Roll out your pastry to line a 9" pie plate. I like a thick pastry for meat pies so I roll mine to a thick 1/4". Lay this in the pie plate and fill with the meat mixture. Roll out the pastry for the top of the pie and lay it over the filling. Securely crimp the edges closed. You can brush the pastry with some milk if you want a bit more color on the finished pie.
5.) Bake until pastry is golden, about 50 mins. to an hour.