Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tourtière - Quebec Style

I am not really sure what I did before I had a PVR.  I must have missed a lot of good TV.  (I know, you're probably wondering what the h*** the PVR has to do with Tourtière...Don’t worry, I am getting to that).  I love Chuck Hughes (he is a chef out of Montreal).  His Food Network Christmas special 'Chuckmas' happened to be on my PVR when I was looking for something to watch last night(YAY!)...On his Christmas special he made Tourtière (Yum)....which is what inspired me to stop procrastinating and get down to writing about Tourtière.... 
If you haven't gathered by now, I am a big fan of the Tourtière.  It's savoury, comforting and wonderful.  Below is the recipe which I've used a number of times to make Tourtière (or 'meat pie' as one of my friends would call it...he's thinks the word 'Tourtière' is too fancy for what it is). 

This is adapted from the Tourtière recipe provided in the George Brown Culinary Arts II manual.  I've increased the spices (cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, bay leaf) and the amount of garlic - because I like food that is über flavourful.  I've also added Sambal hot sauce, because I truly believe that hot sauce makes everything better.   And I've used a different pastry recipe as I have one that has worked for me for years...(below).

560 g ground pork; or 2/3 ground pork and 1/3 ground beef
1 medium Onion (finely diced)
1 stalk Celery (finely diced)
1/2 Leek (1/2 of the white/light green part of the leek - finely diced)
1 medium Carrot (grated)
6 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 tbsp Parsley
1/2 Potato (peel and submerge in water until ready to use)
1 oz Oil (for sautéing meat)
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Freshly Ground Nutmeg
3/4 tsp Allspice
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1-2 Bay Leaves
2-3 tsp Sambal Hot Sauce (this is not authentic to the traditional Tourtière recipe, but adds an incredible kick of flavour - can find at most well stocked grocery stores)
4 oz Beef Stock (if not using homemade, try to find a Low Sodium Beef Stock at your local grocery store)
1 egg (for egg wash)
Pie pasty (recipe to follow).

(1) Make pastry (recipe below).  Put in fridge for at least 1/2 hour before ready to use. 
(2) Prepare vegetables: dice onion/celery/leek, grate carrot, mince garlic, peel potato and submerge in water.
(3) Heat oil in a large sauté pan or skillet, sauté meat until it's no longer pink (optional - season with salt and pepper while sautéing).
(4) Incorporate onion, celery, leek, carrot, garlic, parsley, spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaf), Sambal sauce and stock with the meat.  Simmer on medium, uncovered, for about an hour (can do for less if in a hurry, but this is one of those cases where the longer you simmer it, the better it's going to taste).  Stir occasionally
(5) Taste for salt and pepper, adjust spices.
(6) Grate 1/2 of the potato into meat mixture.  Stir to release the starch (This will help to thicken up meat mixture - Don't worry if it doesn't look thick while it's will thicken as it cools).
(7) Remove meat mixture from heat and let cool.
(8) Preheat oven to 375 degrees (if your oven takes a long time to warm up you might want to do this step a little earlier).
(9) Roll one half of the pie dough out to fit the bottom of your 9" pie pan, allowing a 1/2” over hang
(10) Remove bay leaf(s) from meat mixture; Pile meat mixture into pie pan.
(11) Roll out the second crust and decorate the top of the pie with a lattice top or any special way you like (if covering the top of your pie completely with the top crust, make sure to cut slits in the top to allow the steam to escape).  Decoratively crimp the edges.
(12) Mix egg yolk with 2 tsp water; lightly brush pastry with egg
(13) Bake on a tray for an hour at 375 degrees (You'll know it’s finished when the crust is golden brown and pie filling is sizzling). 

Flakey Pastry  (makes 1 double crust 9" pie)
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups vegetable shortening
4-6 tablespoons ice water

Place flour and salt in a shallow mixing bowl and cut in shortening with dry clean fingers or pastry cutter until mixture resembles a coarse meal (large breadcrumbs).  Make a well in the middle of the mixture.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon in well and mix in lightly and quickly with fingertips, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time until pastry just holds together.  Shape gently into a ball.  Wrap with wax paper and place in fridge to chill for at least 1/2 hour before use.  Continue with step 2 above. 


Once the Tourtière has completely cooled, it can be frozen.  To Reheat - Place in oven at 300 degrees until its heated through. 

I especially enjoy eating Tourtière with Heinz baked beans (Yup...the stuff from the can...why mess with a good thing?). 

Tourtiere + Baked Beans = Good

Happy Cooking!

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