We may not live in Quebec, but we love this fragrant savoury pie redolent with herbs and spices so much it’s become an absolute must at our house over Christmas! I have revised, changed and added things over the years and it just keeps getting better and better. I’ve made the filling using a mixture of ground turkey and ground pork and even with just ground turkey; all were good! I often make the filling and freeze it until needed. If you can get your hands on fresh pork lard, do it, it makes wonderful Tourtiere pastry! All you need are some nice chutney’s and relishes and a salad!
Makes 2 – 8” Pies
Tourtiere Pastry (see below)
¼ lb. salt pork, diced into ¼” cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 lbs. ground pork shoulder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. each chopped celery leaves & flat-leaf parsley
1/8 tsp. each mace & ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. dried savory
½ tsp. dried sage, rubbed
1/8 tsp. each ground cloves & cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 ½ to 2 cups low-salt beef broth
3 or 4 slices day-old French bread (or more) cut into ½” cubes
Sauté the salt pork until crisply browned. Add the onion, frying until the onion is transparent; add the remaining ingredients; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat. Stir some of the bread cubes into the mixture so that it absorbs most of the juice, adding more if necessary. There should be a bit of liquid unabsorbed; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cool mixture to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Divide the pastry in half. Divide each half into one slightly larger and one slightly smaller piece. Roll out the larger pieces of pastry and fit into the bottoms of 2 – 8” pie plates (I prefer glass as it gives a nicer bottom crust). Divide the meat mixture between the pie plates. Roll out the top crust (an inch or so larger than the pie plate), dampen the rims of the bottom crust; then place the top crusts on top of the pies; trim if required. Seal the edges and crimp decoratively, cut 3 or 4 slits in the top crusts to allow steam to escape; place in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 F and continue baking 25-30 minutes until the crust is nicely golden, crisp and piping hot. Let pie rest for 15 – 20 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be frozen. Sometimes I have a whole pie left, so I just freeze it and reheat in the oven until hot.
4 cups sifted unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 cup Tenderflake lard, very cold, cut into 1/2” cubes
4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) hard butter
2 large eggs, beaten
6 Tbsp. cold water, approximately
You can make this in the processor, I always do. If your processor does not accommodate the full recipe, simply divide in half. Otherwise do by hand cutting in the lard & butter with a pastry blender.
Sift the flour & salt onto a piece of wax paper. Place into the bowl of the food processor; add the lard & butter & process until the mixture resembles fine oatmeal. Combine the beaten eggs with the cold water; add to the processor while it is running and process until the dough starts to clump. If needed, add more cold water a bit at a time. Be careful not to overprocess. Remove dough from processor, form into a ball, flatten into a disc & chill for 30 minutes before rolling out. Or you can do what I do and make the pastry the day before and store in the fridge until required. Let it soften just enough to roll it out.