By Chef Peter Webster of Bouquet Garni Catering
The tourtière is a Quebec institution. It is most often served around Christmas time, which is too bad because it is an amazing meal. It can be prepared in advance and be frozen for later use when time is precious.
There are many variations of tourtière and the following recipe is no exception. The first time I tasted a tourtière, it was quite bland and I wondered what all the fuss was about. It came as no surprise when I found out you had to smother it with ketchup! So I have tried to add a little herb and spice to bump up the flavor.
This recipe calls for a double crust pie crust. The one on the shortening box is very good but add a little flavor with pepper and dried herbs.
Ingredients: serves 8
• 1 double crust pie crust
• Egg wash: 1 egg yolk, 2tbsp water and a pinch of salt
• 1.5 lbs (total)ground pork, veal and lean beef
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped
• 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
• 1 cup leftover mashed potato
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• 2 tsp fresh thyme or dried herbs
• 2 tbsp cognac or brandy (optional)
• Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the meat mixture in a fry pan until the meat is no longer pink. Drain through a sieve, keeping the drippings. Skim off the fat and discard, keeping the juices.
In the same fry pan, heat a little oil and fry the onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the spices . In a large bowl, combine the meat, meat juices, onion garlic mixture, mashed potatoes, herbs, brandy salt and pepper.
A little trick I learned is to take a tablespoon of the meat mixture, wrap in foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes to cook. You can taste the meat mixture and adjust the seasoning before cooking it in the pie. So adjust the seasoning and flavor at this point.
Roll out your dough, put in the meat mixture, cover with the top dough and egg wash the top dough – which will give a nice colour to the baked tourtière. Cut a few vents for steam to escape in the top crust. Bake in a 350º oven for 50 minutes.
Serve with a little ketchup or other sauces as required.