tourtiere a borrowed tradition


So pretty, isn’t it? This holiday season I was adamant that I would make French Canadian tourtiere to be served on Christmas Eve along side my new favorite killer condiment green tomato ketchup. What a great idea! I read about a million recipes for traditional tourtiere from various regions all over Quebec, which differ vastly. I settled on a flaky pork lard and butter whole spelt crust and created a dish of rich browned pork, lamb and beef seasoned with garlic and onion, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, bay and savory. I added small pieces of potato and a little chili for just a hint of heat.

Having never eaten tourtiere before in my life, I truly have nothing to compare my dish to, but I did get the thumbs up from many more experienced tourtiere lovers. I made a whopping batch which included 48 tiny hand pies to be served as appetizers at our holiday party, and then decided to create a breakfast pie for our Christmas morning. I had the idea to hard boil a few eggs, and set them into the meat filling. I adorned the terrine festively and par baked it the day before. In the morning I finished baking it off and we enjoyed a rich and luxurious breakfast.

eggs in terine

Use your favorite pie crust recipe (I made a double batch).

For the filling brown in a huge pot:

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground lamb

2 lbs ground pork

3 onion finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic minced

Season with:

a pinch each cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (1-2 tbsp depending how punchy you want your flavor)

Also add 2 bay leafs, and a Tbsp of summer savory and a pinch of hot chili flakes. S+P.

Once the meat is cooked add in 3 large potatoes cut into fine cubes. Simmer over medium low heat until the potatoes are tender. Taste and season as needed. Allow filling to cool entirely (even overnight) before filling pies. If your keen on my break fast idea. Arrange hard boiled, peeled eggs in the middle of the filling, then bake until your dough is set.

Serve with green tomato ketchup and pickled beets. Bon Appetit!

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