Thursday, February 01, 2007

Classic Tourtière (Meat Pies)

Christmas tradition!

Classic Tourtière (Meat Pies)
Canadian Living

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cubed peeled potato
2 lb (1 kg) lean ground pork
3/4 cup (175 mL) water
2 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each pepper, dried savory and thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each ground cloves and cinnamon
1 bay leaf
Flaky Pastry (recipe below)
1 egg yolk

Preparation:
In saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potato until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and mash; set aside.

Meanwhile, in deep skillet, sauté pork over medium-high heat, mashing with fork, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Drain off fat.

Add water, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, savory, thyme, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until almost no liquid remains, about 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Mix in potatoes. Let cool.

On lightly floured surface, roll out 1 of the pastry discs to scant 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Fit into 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Spoon in filling. Roll out remaining pastry. Brush pie rim with water; cover with top pastry and press edge to seal. Trim and flute.

Roll out scraps; cut out holiday shapes. (Make-ahead: Wrap tourtière and shapes separately; refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks; thaw in refrigerator. Add 20 to 30 minutes to baking time, covering with foil after 45 minutes; remove foil for last 10 minutes.)

Mix egg yolk with 2 tsp (10 mL) water; brush three-quarters over top. Arrange cutouts on top; brush with remaining egg wash. Cut steam vents in top.

Bake in bottom third of 400°F (200°C) oven until hot and golden brown, about 50 minutes.

Flaky Pastry

Ingredients:
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) each cold butter and lard, cubed
1 egg
2 tsp (10 mL) vinegar
Ice water

Preparation:
In bowl, whisk flour with salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter and lard until in coarse crumbs with larger pieces.

In liquid measure, beat egg with vinegar, add enough ice water to make 2/3 cup (150 mL). Drizzle over flour mixture, tossing with fork until ragged dough forms.

Press into 2 discs. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

My Notes: I wanted to make 3 pies so I used 3lbs pork and then added an extra onion, 2 garlic cloves, an extra bay leaf, slightly increased the spices (1/4 tsp for savory and thyme and 1/8 for cinnamon and cloves), and added 1/4 cup more water. I didn't measure the mashed potatoes - just used 6...I followed the recipe exactly but I had a problem with the liquid not evaporating...I guess I should have realized that since the recipe says to cook "covered" for 25 minutes!!! Must have been a typo!...after an hour and a half there was still alot of liquid so finally I decided just to drain off the liquid with a sieve...once I added the mashed potatoes to the meat and tasted it I had to add more spices (probably went down the drain when I drained the liquid) so I just added more spice until I was satisfied...I also didn't make my own pie crusts...I just used store bought ones to save time...

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