Tourtière is not exclusive to the Canadian province of Québec. Tourtière is a traditional French-Canadian dish served by generations of French-Canadian families throughout Canada and the bordering areas of the United States. In the U.S. Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and New York. citizens of Québécois ancestry have introduced the recipe. Every family has their own "original" recipe, passed down through the generations. Like the recipe, there is no one correct filling, as the pie meat depends on what is available in regions. In coastal areas, fish such as salmon is commonly used, whereas pork, beef and game are used inland.
The name supposedly comes from a pie-making utensil but by 1611 tourtière more or less referred to the meat pie as we know it today. There is speculation that this culinary form is related to Moroccan pastry-making practices brought to Europe by way of Spain.
~ French Canadian Meat Pie
TRADITIONAL PASTRY FOR TWO LARGE PIES
3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup vegetable shortening like Crisco (lard for the purest)
1 scant tsp. salt
1 large beaten egg
1 Tbsp. vinegar
Place flour, salt, and shortening in food processor or large bowl. Process with machine or pastry blender until mixture resembles course corn meal. In large glass measuring cup, beat the egg. Add vinegar and enough ice water to equal 1/2 cup. Pour over flour mixture. Blend only until dough holds together in a ball. Shape dough into thick, flat rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until easy to handle (about 1 hour).
Note: Skip the ABOVE and head for the refrigerated section at the market. Purchase Pillsbury Pie Crusts ... unroll (dust with 1 Tbsp. flour), spread into pie pan, flute, fill and bake. Not as good as above but ...
(for 2 deep dish)
3 pounds freshly (twice ground) lean pork ~ fresh ham or loin is best
1 large chopped Spanish or sweet onion
2 plump cloves minced garlic
3 medium potatoes ~ peeled, boiled and mashed
2 heaping Tbsp. summer savory
1 heaping Tbsp. thyme
1 heaping Tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 heaping tsp. sage
1 heaping tsp. cracked pepper
1 tsp. Lawrey's seasoned pepper
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
- Saute pork in large heavy skillet over medium high heat. When brown, drain fat, reserving 2 Tbsp. Add onion and garlic and continue cooking until wilted. Season with herbs, pepper and salt. Add mashed potatoes which should absorb any remaining liquid. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
- Place filling in prepared rolled out and positioned pie crust. Top with crust, flute and cut in venting slits. (Idea: Turkey slits for Thanksgiving, Christmas Tree slits, date slits of New Year). Brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg plus 1 Tbsp. water).
- Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving or freeze when cooled. (Thaw before reheating in 325 degree oven about 40 minutes. Cover gently with foil if crust becomes too brown.) Serve with Favorite Cranberry Sauce. (serves 6-8)
~ Posted each New Year, this recipe has been gently adapted from the original that dates back several generations in my family.