I was inspired to make this tourtiere by More Than Burnt Toast. At the time I didn't have any pie plates but hers is made in a log form and can be cooked on a baking sheet. I am invited for Christmas dinner and would like to take something with a Canadian flavour to share. My friends, Scott and Jayson, have a tradition of making tourtiere every Christmas season. This is typically served Christmas eve, especially in Quebec. My homemade green tomato relish will go perfectly with this.
Since I moved to Swift Current I have had many requests for this Christmas treat. Who would have thought?
This can be served warm or at room temperature. It also freezes well but I'm not sure if you would cook it first or freeze to cook later. If anyone has done this, perhaps you could make a note in the comments on this posting. Merci beaucoup!
I have combined a lot of the ideas I have seen in recipes. I like the added flavour of cinnamon and cloves. I also liked the way it is cooked in Jean Chretien's recipe. His recipe cooks the meat for 1 1/2 hours. This makes a nice fine filling without lumps. I used my sour cream pastry recipe because it is so easy and tasty, too. I have used pork and beef, but it can also be made with wild game ground meat.
1 lb ground pork
3/4 lb ground beef
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t black pepper
1 t salt
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 c beef or chicken broth
2 T breadcrumbs
Put the stock in a large pan or pot and bring to a boil. Add the pork, beef, onions, and seasonings. Cook with the lid on until the meat is completely broken down and cooked, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated. Add bread crumbs one tablespoon at a time to soak up any oil. Cool completely before filling the pastry.
Roll the pastry into a rectangle. Put a strip of filling done the middle and fold the pastry over on the long sides and then fold up the ends. Trim the excess pastry otherwise it may not fully cook. Milk can be used to help 'glue' the seams so it doesn't fall apart. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down. Cut a few steam vents in the top and decorate with more pastry, if you wish. Brush with milk. Bake at 425F for about 20 minutes or until golden in colour.
Sour Cream Pastry
1 1/4 c. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 " cubes
3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. chilled sour cream L
4 to 6 tbsp. ice water
In a bowl with your fingertips, a pastry blender or food processor, blend together flour, butter, and salt until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with remainder in small lumps, roughly the size of peas. Add sour cream and blend just until incorporated. Drizzle 4 tablespoons water over mixture and mix just until incorporated. Test mixture by gently squeezing a small handful. It should hold together without crumbling apart. If necessary, add enough remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If you overwork or add too much water, pastry will be tough.
Turn mixture out onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions if making pies or one piece if making a log. With heel of hand smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together and form it, rotating it on work surface, into a disk. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour, and up to 1 day.
This is my contribution to the Canadian Food Experience this month.