Friday, December 30, 2016

Tourtiere: French-Canadian Pork Pie

Tourtiere - hot from the oven!
For years I drooled over pictures Ann of Thibeault’s Table posted of her annual Christmas Eve tourtiere. It’s a meat pie that originated in Quebec and is usually made with finely diced/ground pork and potatoes. It’s frequently part of Christmas/New Year's Eve celebrations and is a traditional French-Canadian dish served throughout Canada and some bordering areas of the United States. The ground meat/potato filling is commonly seasoned with sweet spices like allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes even cinnamon. It’s often served with ketchup, chutney, or gravy.

It took me a few years to work up the courage try my hand at it, but eventually I decided to make it myself. And, boy, am I glad I did. The flavorful filling easily adapts itself to low sodium. The tourtiere is delicious and makes wonderful leftovers that can be reheated or frozen. I usually serve it with some sort of cranberry sauce ‒ homemade whole berry sauce, Trader Joe’s cranberry-orange relish, or homemade Cranberry Jezebel sauce. Thanks, Ann, for a fabulous recipe.

Want a slice?

Here’s Ann’s recipe with my low sodium adaptations:

Tourtiere: Pork Pie
Adapted from Thibeault’s Table

Ann’s note: This filling is for one pie. I usually triple the ingredients and make three at a time. I bake all of the pies and when cold, freeze.

Favorite low sodium pastry for a two-crust pie (I use a 9 inch pie pan)

1 large onion chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons oil or unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
1½ pounds of pork
1 cup gravy or NSA stock, saved from turkey or pork (I usually use NSA chicken broth/stock)
2 russet potatoes (par-boiled in unsalted water)
2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ teaspoon thyme,
½ teaspoon rosemary (or more to taste)
Pepper to taste
⅛ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice (or more to taste)

Egg glaze: 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp water

Saute the onion in oil until transparent; add the garlic and saute for one minute, and then add the ground pork.  Cook until the meat is brown.  Add ½ cup NSA stock or gravy and cover pan and simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425°F.

Uncover pan and reduce liquid to 2 or 3 tablespoons.  Add the seasonings and stir to blend. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Add the coarsely chopped potatoes and add enough additional gravy/NSA broth to moisten. Mixture should not be too wet.

Spoon filling into pastry shell.  Brush egg glaze on overhanging crust. Place upper crust on top and trim. Fold the top edge under the bottom and crimp edge.  Brush with egg glaze and decorate with extra pastry if desired. (I place the unbaked pie on a baking sheet to make it easier to get in and out of the oven.)

Bake in the lower third of oven for 15 minutes and then raise to the middle shelf, lower heat to 350 and continue to bake until golden brown, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with condiment of choice: gravy, ketchup, chutney, cranberry sauce, etc.

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