Tourtière – flaky pastry stuffed with two types of meat served probably with mashed potatoes. It is a solid dish and very French Canadian. I am from an English speaking part of the Maritimes however there are pockets of Acadians throughout Nova Scotia so their food also plays a large part in the local fair. Tourtière for me, however was a French Canadian dish that never made it on the weekly menu but relatives or friends of the family would make them so I have had them once or twice before this adventure.
During my thought process of trying to decide what to make for our International Dinner I had completely forgotten about Tourtière! I was reminded by friends at home when I made a desperate cry for help! The recipe below is full of flavour and because of the mixed meat it is a bit richer than most meat pies I have had while travelling and it is delioucously simple, especially if you cheat like I did and use bought puff pastry to make mini pies. And like any good Canadian recipe, so it seems, there is a hint of cinnamon in it.
1 pound of ground pork
500g of lean ground beef
1 onion chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of thyme
1/2 tsp of sage
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/4 tsp of cloves
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
In a large saucepan add a good glug of olive oil. Add your garlic and onion to the pot and stir just until the onions begin to go clear. To this, add your meat and all of your spices, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook until all the meat is cooked, stirring occasionally to break up the meat. Let it simmer in its juices for 15 minutes then allow it to cool. You can make it the night before if you wish, which will help the flavours run through the meat as well.
I cheated when it came to the pastry as I was making mini turnovers or mini pies and bought frozen puff pastry but feel free to make your own. Thaw your puff pastry, I used 5 sheets and it made 45 mini tourtière’s with meat left over which I later on made into a delicious pie, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Cut your pastry into 3″ squares – 9 per sheet,
To make turnovers – brush the edges of the pastry squares with egg and spoon a tbsp of the meat filling in the middle of the pasty. Folder over and crunch the edges together so that they don’t come open. Place onto a prepared baking tray and brush with egg. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 min at 220C or until golden brown.
Serve warm or cold with a tomato sauce on the side for dipping.
This one is from a free magazine that is in our local butchers called Entice – All Things Beef this Summer.
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
3 tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
3 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
200g can of diced tomatoes
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar ( I used a balsamic dressing as that is all I had and it worked really well)
Pop everything together into a sauce pan and bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-25 min. I think the longer you let this simmer the better, not only to cook the garlic and onions but every tomato sauce benefits of stewing on the stove for as long as possible. Let it cool before you serve. It has a lovely tangy, sweet taste and a bit of bite to it.
I had one sheet of pastry left and about 350-400g of beef left over and a pumpkin that needed cooking. I do like tourtière but I miss veggies in it and this option gives it a bit of a veggie and taste boost I think. Roast half a pumpkin in the oven with salt, olive oil and mixed herbs. Once roasted, peel the skin off and mash, adding in 2 1/2 tbsp of sour cream into the mash with salt and pepper to your taste and mix until it is nice and creamy. Take your pastry and place it in your buttered pie pan, spoon in your left over tourtière filling and spread the mash over the top. Bake it in the oven at 200C for 30 min or until the pastry is golden and the mash is a bit crispy on top. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!