17 December 2009

A Recipe for Tourtiere with a Twist




Tourtiere with a Twist

We have talked about simplifying our holiday entertaining menus in past posts but we also want to have our guests feel that they are the center of our "entertaining universe" with innovative ideas and presentations. You can have that WOW factor without a lot of work and fiddling with complicated recipes. One way is to present this twist on a Canadian classic. I first saw the variation of this Quebecois dish on an episode of French Food at Home with Laura Calder on the Food Network. I knew that this classic twist on tourtiere would be on my holiday menu right then and there...with my own little twists of course.

Tourtière is a traditional French-Canadian dish served by generations of French-Canadian families throughout Canada and the bordering areas of the United States. It is especially anticipated for Christmas Eve celebrations, but it's equally as tasty throughout the holidays or over the winter months. It also goes without saying, you don't need to be French or Canadian to have this dish become a holiday tradition.

 In the Canadian province of Quebec, meat pie is called "tourtière". Originally it referred to a cooking utensil used to make a pie or "tourte." By 1611, the word tourtière had come to refer to the pastry containing meat or fish that was cooked in this medium-deep, round or rectangular dish. It is usually a double crusted meat pie usually made with ground pork, often with the addition of potatoes for thickening. This is where the twist comes in as you see in the photo!!!

 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 regionally available. It is a delicious, fragrant and savoury addition to the holiday table!!! Of course you know I had to "twist" Laura's recipe to add my own flair. Mushrooms are unconventional, but tourtiere fans will be happy with the extra flavour. I also added a little thyme as well as the savoury since my own recipe for this classic dish calls for it. What I absolutely LOVE about this dish is that it can be completely made-ahead, baked and then can be served at room temperature. Doesn't this make this perfect for a stress-free holiday table with a little bit of WOW. I served it with my own butternut squash risotto twisted with the addition of a little saffron and a dollop of mascarpone cheese and a simple tossed salad with a light lemony dressing. For dessert...a Lemon Coeur de Creme with Fresh Raspberry Sauce...talk about WOW...and with little fuss. Enjoy your company!!!!

Update..I decided to save time and use store bought pastry which was not strong enough to hold the shape of the log. They split, but tasted wonderfully!!!!

**Tourtiere with a Twist**
based on a recipe by Laura Calder
Printable Recipe....
Makes two 9-inch/23-cm pies or 2 tourtière “logs”
Pastry

3 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup cold butter, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon ice-cold water, more as needed

Filling

1/2 cup/125 ml beef or chicken stock
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground veal, hare, or beef
1  large onion, minced
2 cups sliced mushroooms
2 clove garlic chopped
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL)salt
1/2 teaspoon(2 mL) pepper
1/2 teaspoon(2 mL) dried savoury
1/2 teaspoon(2 mL) dried thyme
Pinch ground cloves (optional)
4 to 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs

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Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the grated butter. Pinch quickly with the fingers to create a coarse, crumbly mixture. Make a well in the centre. Put in the eggs and the water. Quickly mix into the flour, just until the mixture holds together. Do not over-mix. Divide into 4 balls and flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator half an hour before using.

Filling

Put 1/2 cup/125 ml beef or chicken stock in a sauté pan and quickly bring to a boil. Combine all the remaining ingredients, apart from the breadcrumbs, and stir into the water. Cover, and cook until the meat is done, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the breadcrumbs, and continue cooking uncovered until the liquid has evaporated. Check the seasonings, and cool.

Heat the oven to 450°F/230°C. Roll a disk of pastry into a rectangle. Spoon a generous stripe of meat mixture down the middle of it. Fold the short ends, up in over the meat making sure to trim any excess pastry, otherwise it will be too thick.Then fold over the long ends so that they overlap to seal, again, trim any excess pastry so it will bake evenly. Turn the log onto a baking sheet, seam-side down. Make a few slits in the top to let steam escape. Brush the top with milk for a golden crust. Bake until the pastry is crisp and nicely coloured, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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35 comments:

  1. Wow, these sound brilliant! I'd never even heard of a tourtiere before...now I'm craving one :D

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  2. This is actually tortiere en croute! The latest Daring Bakers had an en croute challenge and this would qualify, IMO. I am visiting for Xmas day and have no pie plates. This might just be the answer. Thanks.

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  3. Meat pie? Potatoes? I love the Tourtiere! Another great dish to add to our menus this holiday season!

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  4. This sounds and looks fabulous. I love everything about it and want it .... now.

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  5. This look really amazing Vall, love it, gloria

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  6. I've never tried the Tourtière, sounds wonderful and a great dish for a holiday party!

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  7. I would definitely put mushrooms in mine as well. They add so much terrific flavor. This is such a nice dish!

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  8. Val, love the twist on this one. I am still going to make my traditional tourtière for Christmas with a side of mashed potatoes. But I'll try to make these later on during the year :)

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  9. I have always heard of Toutiere but never really made one. I may have to try this one since - it sounds delicious.

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  10. meat pie, log o' meat, toutiere--regardless of it's name, it's meat ensconced in flaky pastry, so i'm automatically a fan. :)

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  11. Your recipe sounds so delicious and makes a beautiful presentation on the plate.

    I've never heard of toutiere but am eager to give it a try.

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  12. I absolutely love Laura Calder. She is my favourite female Canadian chef.
    Great looking dish, I am anglophone and have never tried this classic!

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  13. GORGEOUS! And I love how you're always introducing me to new things.

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  14. I've always been impressed by the prolificness (is that a word?) of your blog, but lately I'm bowled over. You keep cranking out there posts during everyone's busy season. Bravo.

    It's also great to see a recipe that calls for "hare". I don't see that on the blogs too often.

    I hope you don't mind that the first time I saw this blog title I read it as "torture". ;-) I fully believe it would be a pleasure and not torture to eat this.

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  15. This sounds so wonderful and looks top shelf. I would love to give this a try right now!

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  16. Good one, Val. I love any kind of savory pie. And I agree with the addition of the mushrooms. They just seem to belong there.

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  17. Your tourtiere looks really beautiful!!!! And, of course, delicious!

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  18. I learned so much in this post. I wasn't familiar with the Tourtiere, but it sounds perfect for Christmas Eve.
    Sam

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  19. This looks great. I am half French Canadian as is my husband. My mother in law always makes tourtiere for Thanksgiving and Christmas eve dinners to serve with the rest of the meal.

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  20. I like the name tourtiere en croute:D

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  21. I too had never heard of Tourtiere ... so this was quite informative. It looks delicious Val!

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  22. Ooooh yum - This looks so good!

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  23. Wow is right. I'd love to add this to our Christmas Eve dinner and being able to make it ahead makes it perfect!

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  24. Thank you for teaching me about Tourtiere. I think I would love it!

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  25. I see a connection between your tourtiere and the salmon en croute I just posted about.

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  26. I grew up in Montreal. Need I explain further how my mouth is watering right now for your version?!

    In fact, I tried never to misss a Christmas Eve dinner at my French Canadian friends homes.

    Thanks for sharing this brilliant version.

    Have a very Joyous Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and productive 2010.

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  27. hello
    tourtière is also the name of a dessert which is composed of many layers of fluffy pastry in which we insert apples or prunes cooked and flambéed with french south western brandies like Armagnac ! this dessert is mainly elaborated in the South west of France !
    cheers from Paris where today it snows ! Pierre

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  28. Great take on a tourtiere!

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  29. Great idea, never heard of them before, but they look great.

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  30. I've never heard of tourtiere. I love how educational your posts are!

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  31. We made tourtiere for years at this time of year but always in pie form. I really like this version.

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  32. This sounds delicious! I have been seriously thinking about making a tourtiere this year. I may just try!

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  33. It's not often I have a tortiere but when I see it on a menu - ordered. Good comfort food.

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  34. This is a grand idea..My husband and I watch Laura while having dinner:) We like her..Thank you for sharing this presentation/method..and Happy Holidays!

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  35. I'd never heard of this before but it sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing :)

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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