Monday, December 13, 2010

Trying out Tourtière

My husband and I attempted making Tourtière (click for the recipe) the last week of December 2009 after spotting a recipe for it in Cook’s Country magazine.
   It looked like a simple enough recipe, and making it would be a way to use up some of the leftover mashed potatoes my mother sent home with us after Christmas dinner.
   We were glad we tried it. It was delicious, warming comfort food, perfect for a cold winter night. It’s even worth making mashed potatoes just to prepare it for Christmas!
   Tourtière is a meat pie made with ground pork, beef or veal that originated in Quebec. It’s traditionally served on Christmas Eve.
   The recipe I linked to above is on the Cook’s Country magazine website, and a log-in is required to access it completely (there is a free 14-day website trial.)
   Here’s the closest free recipe to the one I used that I could find online: The Ultimate Tourtière on It uses ground pork and mashed potatoes like the one my husband and I made.
   However, there are so many other differences between the two recipes it’s not worth going through them all! The main one is that The Ultimate Tourtière recipe doesn’t have a step for simmering ground pork in beef broth, which I believe is key to the Cook’s Country’s version’s fantastic taste.
   For the Cook’s Country recipe I used, there are a couple of important things to note.
   First: Two nine-inch pie dough rounds are needed. We bought pre-made deep-dish pie crusts to use in the recipe, and were glad we did. Regular-size pie crusts are too small to hold the filling and to stretch over the top.
   Because we used pre-made pie crusts, I was sure to let them thaw as directed on the package so they were pliable enough to work with as needed – you’ll need to straighten out the crust to put it on top of the meat, for example.
   Second, the recipe doesn’t specify what size of pie plate to use. Because there was far too much pork filling for a nine-inch pie plate, we used a round glass casserole dish with a nine-inch base and slanting sides that were four inches high.
   The tourtière is quite easy to make.
   Ground pork, chopped onion, minced garlic, dried thyme, dried sage and ground nutmeg are cooked in a Dutch oven or large soup pot.
   Purchased beef broth is added, and the mixture simmered. Off heat, mashed potatoes are stirred in, and the pork mixture left to cool for at least 30 minutes.
   The casserole dish is lined with one pie dough round, filled with the pork mixture and topped with the second round. Four vent holds are cut in the top, and the tourtière is baked until the crust is golden brown.
   Let cool for 15 minutes and serve.

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