Tourtière is a classic French-Canadian dish that has been cherished for generations. This savory meat pie is a delicious amalgamation of flavors and textures that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe will guide you through the process of creating the perfect tourtière that will leave your guests craving for more.
A Brief History of Tourtière
Before we dive into the ingredients and the cooking process, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rich history of this traditional dish. Tourtière has its roots in French-Canadian culture, dating back to the early 17th century. It was originally served during the holiday season, particularly on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The dish has since become a staple at family gatherings, celebrations, and special occasions, and it’s beloved not just in Canada but around the world.
The name ‘tourtière’ is derived from the deep pie dish it’s traditionally baked in, which is known as a ‘tourte.’ The fillings have evolved over the years, but the essence of this dish remains unchanged – a delectable combination of seasoned ground meats and aromatic spices, all encased in a flaky pastry crust.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before you embark on your tourtière-making adventure, gather these essential ingredients:
- 2 lbs. ground pork
- 2 lbs. ground beef (round)
- ¾ cup finely diced celery
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 5 cups hot water
- 2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon chicken base
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp. allspice
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 homemade or store-bought pie crusts (for 9-inch pies)
- 1 large egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Preparing the Filling
- Begin by heating a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground pork and ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Sauté until the meat is browned and crumbled, usually around 8-10 minutes.
- Add the finely diced celery and onion to the skillet and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. The vegetables should become tender and fragrant.
- In a separate bowl, mix 2 tsp. of Better Than Bouillon chicken base with 5 cups of hot water. Stir until the base is fully dissolved.
- Pour the chicken base mixture into the skillet with the meat and vegetables, followed by 1 tsp. of poultry seasoning. Stir everything together, allowing the flavors to meld. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Next, add 2 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs to the skillet. This will help thicken the mixture and give it the right consistency.
- Season the filling with ½ tsp. of allspice, ½ tsp. of ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp. of ground cloves, and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir well, ensuring the spices are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Assembling the Tourtière
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Line a 9-inch pie dish with one of your pie crusts, allowing the edges to hang over the sides.
- Pour the meat and vegetable filling into the pie crust, spreading it evenly.
- Cover the filling with the second pie crust and crimp the edges to seal the pie.
- Brush the top crust with the beaten egg to give it a beautiful, golden finish.
- Using a sharp knife, make a few small slits in the top crust. This will allow steam to escape during baking.
Baking and Serving
- Place the tourtière in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Remove the tourtière from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing.
- Serve your delicious French-Canadian tourtière hot, accompanied by your favorite sides like cranberry sauce or a crisp garden salad.
Enjoy the heartwarming flavors of this classic dish, and share the joy with your loved ones. Bon appétit!
Tourtière is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary journey through French-Canadian history and tradition. With this detailed recipe, you can create a tourtière that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also pays homage to the cultural heritage it represents. Make it a part of your holiday celebrations or any special occasion, and you’ll have a delightful, savory pie that your friends and family will remember for years to come.