Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tourtière - A Christmas Tradition

Christmas always invokes cherished memories of family gatherings. Our traditional Christmas Eve celebration always centers around one dish: Tourtière. I have made many meatpies over the years and always use this recipe found in a local newspaper and treasured closely. The perfect accompaniment is the Fruit Chili Sauce from an old issue of Canadian Living magazine. The meat filling is baked in a double crust. I rely on the pie crust recipe printed on the box of Tenderflake lard.


(makes 1 meatpie)

1/2 lb. minced pork
1/2 lb. minced veal
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground savory

Pie crust for a double crust pie.

Using a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the pork, veal, salt, pepper, onion, garlic and boiling water. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring at intervals for 30 minutes.

Add cloves and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Cool, refrigerate and discard the fat when hardened.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust, fill with the meat filling. Place top crust and seal the edges. Cut several small vents in the top crust. Brush with an egg wash. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 1 hr.

(Cook's notes: I like to cook the meat the day before which allows for the flavours of the spices to blend. It also allows for the fat to solidify. When I fill the prepared bottom pie crust I will add some tiny bits of the fat, just to add to the richness of the dish and keep the meat filling moist. )

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