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Friday, December 11, 2009

French Canadian Tourtiere


"In France the Tourtiere pie-dish was a kitchen utensil for cooking pigeon and other birds. The contents of the dish were known as ‘piece tourtiere’ and during the first years in New France these distinctive words were used. Over the years the word ‘tourtiere’ came to mean a pate of fowl or game cooked and seasoned according to a special household recipe in the family stew pan, for into it went not merely turtle-doves but every kind of edible bird. Every housewife possessed her own secret recipe, jealously preserved from generation to generation. It was in this way that some venturesome housewives began to prepare ‘pieces tou-tieres’ not only with birds but with the meat of both wild and domestic animals. Such recipes held additional appeal since they provided more filling and sustaining meals." --Daily Life In Early Canada
Recipes for this dish in my family generally use pork as the primary meat. We serve this pie at out yearly family - “Le Reveillon” Christmas Celebration, which will be held this year on Sunday, December 13th .

My Family Recipe for Tourtière
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a saucepan, combine pork, onion, garlic, water, salt, thyme, sage, black pepper and cloves. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils; stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked, about 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust. Place top crust on top of pie and pinch edges to seal. Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape. Cover edges of pie with strips of aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, remove foil and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing. The flavors get better the day after, so it is wonderful for leftovers!

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