In our family it is a tradition to have tourtiere on Christmas Eve - as it is for many Canadians. Tourtiere is a meat pie that is traditionally made in Quebec for Christmas Eve. This traditional French-Canadian dish has been served by generations of French-Canadian families throughout Canada and the bordering areas of the United States. Every family has their own "original" recipe, passed down through the generations. Like the recipe, there is no one correct filling, as the pie meat depends on what is available in regions. In coastal areas, fish such as salmon is commonly used, whereas pork, beef and game are used inland.
We have a faded newspaper recipe clipping for a pie that my mother has been making for close to 40 years. In fact, I've had this for Christmas Eve every year except one since I was 5. That is tradition.
I was looking forward to another of mom's tourtieres when she called me to say that she wasn't feeling well and asked if I would mind hosting Chrimtas Eve dinner . . .Sure it was some extra work but lord knows I am willing to jump in when food is involved.
I did the unthinkable. I didn't use the old faded recipe! I made a new tourtiere.
The skies opened, the angels flocked down, and the world prepared for the end.
We don't handle change well in my family - especially where traditional food is involved!
The recipe I selected was by Anna Olson. I figured that a featured food network chef, with a variety of shows, cookbooks, restaurants, bakeshops, and a cafe would have some great ideas. Her tourtiere sounded different than ours - simpler. I made the filling this morning and pulled the pie together this afternoon.
The verdict - sometimes change is good! This was an amazing tourtiere!
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tbsp to 10 tbsp cold water as needed
1 1/2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1 1/2 pounds ground pork, veal, beef or combination
2 onions, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed celery seed
dash ground cloves
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup water
1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp (25 mL) water for glazingCombine flour with salt. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture is a roughly even crumbly texture. Add lemon juice and water and blend just until dough comes together.
Shape into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes. While pastry is chilling, prepare filling.
Cook potatoes in an uncovered pot of salted water until tender and drain. Roughly mash potatoes and set aside to cool.
In a large sauté pan or skillet, sauté beef, pork and/or veal over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat, add onions and seasonings and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add cider and water and bring up to a simmer. Let mixture simmer for about 15 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in potatoes and cool to room temperature. This can be prepared a day in advance.
Preheat oven to 375 °F.
On a lightly floured surface, cut dough in half, roll out to just less than ¼-inch (.5 cm) thickness and line an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan. Fill with tourtière filling.
Roll out remaining dough, cut a hole in center (for steam to escape) and place on top of filling. Pinch edges of crust together and brush with egg wash. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until pastry is a rich golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes, then remove from pan and serve.
Tourtière can be made up to 2 days in advance and reheated in a 300 °F oven.