Wednesday, April 01, 2009


As this guy requested, here's a recipe, and it's even pie-based.

A traditional Quebecois dish, Tourtière is essentially a pie filled with ground pork. Naturally, I couldn't leave this tried and tested recipe completely as-is. Originally, I had intended to do it with ground turkey, but then discovered I had ground pork in my freezer after all, and figured I'd get it right this way before completely messing with it.

I did, however add some smoked Niagara pancetta, and some 6 month old Canadian prosciutto. I also tried one of them new-fangled pie crust ideas that seems to be catching on. Who knew vodka would make for excellent crust?

This will take a couple hours at least. All because the dough needs to be chilled. I actually recommend making the dough for the crust way early, to let it chill for a few hours at least. Once the crust is ready, it's about 10 minutes of prep and 40 minutes of cooking, followed by 10 minutes of cooling. So an hour or so.

The pie crust recipe can be found here. The recipe's at the bottom, but I suggest reading the whole post to get some ideas of texture and such. I substituted the shortening with pure lard, because dammit, this is a dish from Quebec and THEY'D use lard (Quebec != healthy food). Lard also makes the dough easier to work with later and easier to repair if tears show up. There's a rumour it makes it flakier too.

You're making a 9" double crust.

Grease a pie pan (I used Alton Brown's kitchen lube - a shortening/flour mix). Put the bottom crust in the pie pan and set aside. Roll out the top crust and have it ready to put on top once the pie is filled.

Now, the filling. The amount of meat isn't set in stone. Adjust as is available. I based it off this recipe, with some additions.

565g (1 1/4 lbs) ground pork
58g (2 oz) smoked pancetta (or bacon if you wish), cut into small cubes
58g (2 oz) thinly sliced prosciutto
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt (kosher or otherwise)
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves

I combined kosher salt, dried thyme, ground sage, ground black pepper, and cloves in a mortar and crushed them all together with a pestle. What a novel combination, mortar AND pestle. Of course, if you have ground cloves already, it's easier.

- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Combine everything EXCEPT the prosciutto in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid is boiling, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked, about 5 minutes
- Spoon the meat mix into the pie crust, but try to minimize the amount of liquid you take with it.
- Lay out the slices of prosciutto on top of the meat filling to cover. It should look this this:

- Put the top crust on the pie, and pinch together the edges. Remove excess edge dough.
- Brush the top with an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp cold water, beaten)
- Cut vents into the top crust to let steam escape. Use a sharp knife to make sure you cut through the prosciutto as well.

- Cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil to keep them from burning. You may want to grease the inside part of the foil to keep it from sticking to the egg wash. Alternately, you could cover first, and then apply the egg wash and cut the vents.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take off the foil.
- Bake for another 15-20 minutes until edges are golden brown.
- Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

- Cut a slice and enjoy. It's fucking AWESOME.

And I was worried it might not work out. I ate a quarter of the pie for dinner, and had to stop myself from taking 3rds.


BONUS: I had dough left over (the excess edge dough) and made a quick raspberry pie for dessert.

Split the remaining dough into two balls. Roll out flat.

Equal parts (I used around 1/8 cup each, which was FAR too much):

Raspberry jam (or any jam)
Soft butter
Buttermilk (or cream, or a 50:3 milk:acid ratio to simulate buttermilk. ie.- 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)

And most of the leftover egg wash, reserving a bit to brush the top with.

Many jam pie recipes call for 1 cup of each of the above, plus 4 egg yolks. I've also seen 5 whole eggs called for. Since this isn't a full pie, obviously much less is used.

- Preheat oven to 350F
- Put the crust in a small pie plate or ramekin (which I did).
- Fill 2/3 with the filling.
- Either pinch the edge dough into a pocket or put a top on the pie.
- Brush with egg wash
- Bake for 40 minutes. Put a piece of foil or pan on the rack beneath the pie to catch any spillovers from boiling filing.
- Let cool for 10 minutes or so, and dig in.


Jordan said...

Looks good, and no pressure, but do you have something for the Remedial Class?

Riggstad said...

going to take this on tonight.

Unbelievably, this is exactly what I was looking for.

The pie aspect makes it provincial, but the use of ingredients make it very gourmet!

I'll let you know how it goes