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  1. #1
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    Default Tourtiere or other meat pie recipes, anyone? Canadian peeps?

    I fell in love with this lovely pork pie in Maine and last weekend I made 2 from a well-rated recipe I found on the web. Should have been better than they were. I found the flavor of spices-cloves, cinnamon and allspice-too strong, though DH enjoyed it - but he loves EVERYTHING I make--smart man.

    I just love the idea of a hearty meat pie in this dismal gloomy weather, and have some ground pork and some beef I can use. Is anyone familiar with tourtiere? Which spice/spices do you use? I've read that the spice is often a regional or familial choice-some insist on only cinnamon, or cloves, or allspice.

    Just picked up a copy of Jehane Benoit's The Canadiana Cookbook, which has only 1/4 tsp cloves and breadcrumbs instead of potatoes for thickening (Quebequois recipe).

    This recipe sounds more savory, but I'm hoping some of my fellow COTHers from the Great White North can advise. I just want to make a lovely savory meat pie without a heavy taste of pumpkin pie spices - any ideas?

    Or any other nice meat pie recipes (other than Shepherd's Pie), preferably without peas, carrots, etc? (I want to serve my veg on the side.)



  2. #2
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    Aug. 30, 2011
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    Default

    I make lamb pie often. I don't use a recipe. Here's basically what I do:

    Brown small cubed lamb. Amount depends on how many pies. Remove meat when browned.

    In the same pan I brown garlic, about 2-3 cloves and sweat half an onion. Then I add chopped portabella mushrooms and some beef stock. Cook down, taste. I will add salt, pepper, tumeric, fresh tyme and rosemary. Some times I add a pinch (very, very small) of powdered ginger.

    Then I add one or two diced/ chopped turnips. Mix together, pour in pie crust. I then cover the top with dough, and bake for about 1.5 hrs at 375.



  3. #3
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    Nov. 1, 1999
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    Tourtiere is a Christmas tradition in my family. My Mothers Mother was French Canadian by heritage.

    the recipe was never written down, rather handed down. It is as simple as can be

    The amounts are approximate. much depends on the quality of the pork. These days you must be very careful not to get brined pork. If you can have the butcher grind pork butt/ shoulder for you , that is great, otherwise get pre-ground pork without any extras

    3 lb ground pork
    2 1/2 C dry bread crumb ( you can make your own from stale bread or buy prepackaged , unspiced)
    2 Medium onion pureed
    3 1/3 C water
    2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp allspice

    place the meat water onion salt in pot and cook over medium low heat to cook it down. stir often to prevent scorching. This takes several hours, don't rush it. Add extra water if needed, You are aiming to break down the fibers in the meat to a soft mushy consistency. Somewhere along the way I usually form a well in the middle of the bulk and pull off the fat if/as it rises. Modern ground pork seems to have less fat than the old do it yourself ground pork I learned on.

    Add the allspice stir well then the breadcrumb to make a firm pasty bulk. You don't want it wet, nor so dry and stiff that it crumbles.

    Place to pie crust. It can be frozen at this point and to bake simply pull from freezer to the oven until crust is done. You could also use this filling for a hand pie. You are on your own for adding any extras.

    Bake 350 1 hour

    Christmas dinner usually involves a review of how everyone's pies turned out this year.

    Allspice should be fresh. If you have old allspice you are going to have to use much more to evoke a flavor.

    The crust will be no fail, the fat in the pork will see to that.

    My Grandmother use to send these pies to us on the train from Kalispell to Seattle. It was a huge deal when the station called to say our packaged didn't arrive due to damage.

    My aunt, who married into the family, was a potato user. We always thought that was just wrong.
    _\\\\]
    -- * > hoopoe

    www.meanderingwa.blogspot.com



  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks, guys

    Hoopoe, the pork I have (on sale) IS brined. How can I adjust to still use it? Bummer.



  5. #5
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    Nov. 13, 2004
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judysmom View Post
    I make lamb pie often. I don't use a recipe. Here's basically what I do:

    Brown small cubed lamb. Amount depends on how many pies. Remove meat when browned.

    In the same pan I brown garlic, about 2-3 cloves and sweat half an onion. Then I add chopped portabella mushrooms and some beef stock. Cook down, taste. I will add salt, pepper, tumeric, fresh tyme and rosemary. Some times I add a pinch (very, very small) of powdered ginger.

    Then I add one or two diced/ chopped turnips. Mix together, pour in pie crust. I then cover the top with dough, and bake for about 1.5 hrs at 375.
    That sounds divine!
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  6. #6
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    My mother's recipe uses 2 cups of ground beef, 2 cups of ground pork, 2 cups of bread crumbs, onion, water and cloves in the filling. The crust is made with Crisco, which gives it a very light and flaky texture. I had some meat pie a few weeks ago that was made with potatoes instead of bread crumbs. It was heavy and soggy. I prefer the bread crumb recipe.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

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  7. #7
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    Chief2, thanks for this. I plan on using breadcrumbs this time, as the filling certainly was heavy with the potatoes.



  8. #8
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    if you have brined pork I would not add salt

    start with a bit less water too. You can always add more, but if you are over wet it just extends the cook time.

    The real secret is long slow cooking to really break it down.
    _\\\\]
    -- * > hoopoe

    www.meanderingwa.blogspot.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
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    My MIL is pea-soup French Canadian and tourtiere is part of their after Christmas Eve service fare. She made it with beef, pork and some kind of wild meat, i.e. moose or venison. Ground. Boiled it with the spices - cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, but not so much it affects the taste like the OP's recipe - that makes it far too strong. It is not supposed to taste like mince pies, but a subtle, 'what is in it' type of comment.

    She made her pastry with a higher proportion of lard (yup, had to be Tenderflake) than normal pastry. She freezes the pies before baking and then bakes it off without thawing when needed, hot and fresh from the oven.

    Her pies were made quite thin, in tin pie plates, not deep-dish, and not too thickened, just enough to stop them being runny.

    As you said, everybody's is done according to how Mum makes it and that is the best pie.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  10. #10
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    Jul. 11, 2004
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hoopoe View Post
    Tourtiere is a Christmas tradition in my family.
    The amounts are approximate. much depends on the quality of the pork. These days you must be very careful not to get brined pork. If you can have the butcher grind pork butt/ shoulder for you , that is great, otherwise get pre-ground pork without any extras

    3 lb ground pork
    2 1/2 C dry bread crumb ( you can make your own from stale bread or buy prepackaged , unspiced)
    2 Medium onion pureed
    3 1/3 C water
    2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp allspice
    Great recipe..no potato, that's just stretcher. My family is half French-Canadian and Tourtiere (terk-yer) was also the way to start the year. My wife is Texan and she does the new year with black-eyed peas and cornbread...makes for an interesting table.

    You can also make small pies vs. the regular sized one.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  11. #11
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    I haven't got a specific recipe, but one thing you could try is to look up a recipe for ground turkey tourtiere. That will get you away from the overwhelming cinnamon/clove/allspice flavour. I hate it when those are over-done. I prefer using spices like rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage. FWIW, I like tourtiere made with potato - that's how my grandma makes hers.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  12. #12
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    Last December my sisters and I went to see Stuart McLean in Seattle. If you are familiar with his show, he tells stories about Dave and Morley and their family life.

    During his story he mentioned that Morely was in the kitchen making Tourtiere ( we call it Took care) and I glanced at my sisters and we all smiled fondly.

    Later in the elevator going back to our room I said

    "If Stuart had a Q&A session I would have asked if Morley was a bread crumb or a potato user."

    I am planning on sending in a short story to Vinyl Cafe about my Grandmothers pies and the year they did not arrive. There is some myth that grew in the telling and retelling but the core story is true.
    _\\\\]
    -- * > hoopoe

    www.meanderingwa.blogspot.com



  13. #13
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    May. 4, 2003
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    I just love Stuart McLean and Dave and Morley. I don't know how he keeps the pace with all his stops on his tours - is he never home?
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  14. #14
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    Feb. 15, 2004
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    Ontario
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hoopoe View Post
    Last December my sisters and I went to see Stuart McLean in Seattle. If you are familiar with his show, he tells stories about Dave and Morley and their family life.

    During his story he mentioned that Morely was in the kitchen making Tourtiere ( we call it Took care) and I glanced at my sisters and we all smiled fondly.

    Later in the elevator going back to our room I said

    "If Stuart had a Q&A session I would have asked if Morley was a bread crumb or a potato user."

    I am planning on sending in a short story to Vinyl Cafe about my Grandmothers pies and the year they did not arrive. There is some myth that grew in the telling and retelling but the core story is true.
    Same here, I love Stuart McLean, Dave and Morley... he has a knack for telling the stories.

    I always rely on my Canadian Living recipes, even for Tourtière. These recipes have never failed me!
    http://www.canadianliving.com/search...recipes=Search



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