Classic TourtièreCourse: DinnerCuisine: French CanadianDifficulty: Medium
There are no absolute rules for making this meat pie, except that it requires meat! Some variations can include root vegetables, pork, beef, veal, game or seafood in the filling. My preference is for a nice thick crust that I glaze with egg before going into the oven, but even the pastry is up to individual interpretation. Pâte brisée is the most widely-known version, but some swear by a seasoned mashed potato topping (which for me borders on becoming a cottage/shepherds pie cross). For a more traditional approach, you can use a deeper baking dish, or to make this meal super easy and convenient, you may purchase prepared pie shells to save time. Any way you make it, this French Canadian meat pie is a delicious way to warm up during the cold months!
Pâté Brisée (Pie Crust) (recipe below or store-bought pastry dough for a double crust)
1 tablespoon light olive
1 pound of ground lamb or 1 pound ground pork
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic (crushed and finely chopped)
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2/3 cup beef stock
2 teaspoons Cognac (this may be omitted or substituted for red wine)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
1/16 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/16 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
- Pâté Brisée (Pie Crust)
Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single 9 inch pie crusts
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- Pie Crust
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar.
- Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
- With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube.
- Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Divide dough into two equal balls.
- Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour.
- Meat Mixture
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté the ground meat, onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through.
- Drain any excess fat from the pan.
- Add beef stock, Cognac, herbs, and spices to the meat and vegetables; simmer the mixture over low-medium heat, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the dry breadcrumbs into the mixture.
- Allow the meat filling to sit and cool slightly.
- Assembly & Baking
- Preheat oven to 400 f.
- Remove pastry dough from refrigerator allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Roll pastry dough into 2 equal-sized pieces to fit a 9-inch pie pan or baking dish.
- Line the bottom of the pie plate or baking dish with one piece of rolled dough making sure that the pastry comes over the lip of the pie pan or to the top of baking dish.
- Spoon filling into crust and top with the remaining pastry dough rolled into a piece large enough to cover top.
- Crimp the dough shut, flute the edges, cut vents in the top, and brush with egg wash over entire surface.
- Bake pie for 15 minutes on 400 f heat then reduce the oven heat to 350 f and continue baking the pie for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and juice is bubbling.
- Remove pie and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- I like to make my Tourtière in a large spring form pan, so I can create a thick high meat pie that is easy to remove and serve.