A French Canadian Feast: Tourtiere and an Apple Brie Tartlet

As the weather gets more and more cold, I begin to crave the warm heartiness that only homemade meals can bring.  To celebrate the (partial) success of vegetarian week, I decided to make an appropriate follow up meal: tourtiere, the traditional French Canadian meat pie (or as I know it, the delicious meal that my mom always used to make in the depth of winter).  Last year my mom sent me home with a meat pie after Thanksgiving and that baby miraculously got consumed within half a week.

This is the perfect thing for students to make during exams/when they don’t have much time on their hands, since any leftovers (of which there are usually loads) can be smushed into a tupperware container and tossed in the freezer for a later day.  Also, I feel like meat pies are rather impressive, so if there is anyone special you’re serving this to then they’re sure to compliment your cooking skills.

Although my mom does have an actual recipe for this one, I decided to go out on an adventurous tangent and sort of improvise a recipe.  A few things I would have improved: add SALT!  I know, I know, everyone has a major issue with sodium these days, but lets face it, everything is better with a bit of salt.  Also, I forgot to add it completely, so even just a 1/2 tsp. added to the meat mixture would be awesome.  One more thing: Somehow find a way to mash up the ground pork.  Maybe this is just a neurotic Hilary thing, but I don’t like how ground meat retains its worm-like tube shape when cooking.  So maybe squish it around in a bowl with some spices?  I really don’t know…

Here is the recipe for the Hilary-style Tourtiere:

Pie crust (recipe adapted from my Better Homes and Garden cookbook)
*Note: this recipe makes enough pie pastry for a double-crust pie, which is what is required for my tourtiere.
– 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup shortening
– 1/4 cup butter, cut up
– 2/3 cup ice water
In a large bowl whisk together flour and salt.  Using two steak knives (or a pastry blender if you’re grown up and have one of those), cut in the shortening and butter until pieces are pea sized.  Gradually add water to the mixture, tossing the dough around with a fork with each addition.  Once flour mixture is moistened, gather dough with hands and knead it on a floured surface.  Divide pastry in half, forming halves into balls.  Roll the pastry balls into circles with a 12-inch diameter and carefully transfer pastry into a nine inch pie pan.  Add filling (see recipe below) and place the other half of the dough over top, sealing the edges by pressing them closed with a fork.  Cut any desired slits into the top of the pie with a knife.

Tourtiere filling
– 600 grams ground pork
– 1 potato, grated
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
– 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a non stick pan, fry ground pork until no longer pink.  Transfer to plate and keep warm.  In the same pan, fry onion, garlic, nutmeg, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Once onion is softened, add pork back into pan, combining the ingredients and cooking until warm (about four minutes).  Scoop filling into prepared pie pan and place other half of dough over top of filling.  Cook at 375° for about 45 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown.  Optional: five minutes before the pie is finished, take it out of the oven and brush top with egg white to add a glossy shine.

Note: the cooking temperature and time really depends on your oven.  Since our oven is possessed by the devil, I only had to cook my meat pie at 275° for 30 minutes.  Just keep an eye on it!

ALSO: this may be the best part of this entire post.  Because I had a bit of pie crust left over, I decided to make an apple brie tartlet!  I bought a huge chunk of brie earlier in the week, and quickly inhaled half of it while my meat pie was in the oven.  Since I was fully committed to eating this entire wheel of cheese in one day, I decided to chop up the remaining half and toss it in my pie crust with a diced apple.  Bake until brie is melted at about 200°.  ENJOY!  The two pictures below are literally the only things you need to do to make this AMAZING snack.  God I love brie.

And the finished product…

In the end, this turned out to be my biggest fat day ever (not that I mind).  Throughout the day, I ate an entire block of brie, two pieces of meat pie, part of my roommate Natalie’s lunch, a super chocolate-y hot chocolate and WAY more.  Needless to say I did yoga that night to calm my inner mind (and stomach).

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One thought on “A French Canadian Feast: Tourtiere and an Apple Brie Tartlet

  1. you ate how much in a day!

    Don’t come home, I can’t afford you…:)

    That brie thing look awesome darling. Better stock up I guess this XMAS

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