Tourtière = meat pie. For those who have no clue what this is, yeah I know it seems weird. But when you are French Canadian, then there is no way you have eaten through a holiday without a slice of meat pie accompanied with your turkey and traditional fixings. Holiday baking in most Quebec households includes whipping up several of these pies!
Three Step Tourtière Recipe
There are many variations of this recipe, below is mine; well, my grandma’s + a little tweaking. Typically if you go to the trouble of making one, you might as well make a bunch since they freeze really well. I buy my pie crust pre-made because I have shamefully never mastered dough (this year I scored fresh-made, not frozen, pie shells at Costco!).
THE MEAT: I should mention that you can feel free to play around with the meet variety; I sometimes use more veal and less pork. Some years I omit the beef altogether and just use veal and pork. Basically whatever your preference is, as long as you have enough meet to fill your pie shells! One more thing: the meat quantities listed below is more or less accurate. Obviously it depends on how full you fill your pie shells and whether you buy deep dish or regular. Tip: I usually buy more than I need and whip up a little pasta sauce at the same time!
5 (unbaked) pie shells with tops
1 egg yolk
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground veal
1 lb of ground beef
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 small onion (or half of large onion) finely chopped
1 tbsp condensed liquid beef broth (like Bovril)
1 tbsp of herb de provence (+ more for sprinkling)
1 pinch of pepper (and salt if needed, but keep in mind if you use the condensed broth, it is already pretty salty)
* 1 boiled skinless potato (optional, see STEP 2)
STEP 1: Heat your oven to 400 degrees Celsius. Chop up the garlic and onion and throw it into a fry pan along with your three different ground meats. Add herbs, pepper and condensed broth. Fry on medium low and stir constantly (so meat cooks up fine and not clumped together). Once fully cooked taste it before choosing to add any salt. Drain in a pasta strainer for 5 min.
*STEP 2: Bring water to a boil and cook one medium skinless potato until soft (40 min). Mash up the potato (no butter or cream or chives, just mash the potato!) and combine with cooked and drained meet. This is optional; the potato helps the meet to stick together a little and absorb some of the fat. It depends on your preference of texture, I usually do it but this year I decided not to!
STEP 3: Once the meet is drained (*and you have added the mashed potato) fill your (unbaked) pie shells evenly, feel free to sprinkle a little more herb to provence over top of the meet. Paint a little egg yolk along the edge of your pie crust and place the top on (think of it as glue!), then press both edges together. Make a few venting holes or slits and paint a little more egg yolk on top (avoid edge, otherwise it will burn) Place pies in oven and lower temperature to 375 degrees Celsius. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden.
FREEZE & DEFROST INSTRUCTIONS: To freeze, let cool completely before wrapping in foil followed by plastic wrap. To defrost remove plastic wrap, leave foil and place in 275 degree Celsius oven until heated through (about 1 hour). Remove foil and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes so that pie crust can crisp up a little (soggy pie = yuck).
Happy Holidays – Joyeuse Fêtes