A good part of my day has been involed in the making of the tourtière. And tonight I just had my first piece – have to test these things you know! It has turned out quite well I think.
My husbands family, being good French Canadians, introduced me to this delicacy. Tourtère is a pork pie that is traditionally eaten only at Christmas time. In fact the first one was not to be eaten until after returning from midnight mass on Christams Eve. Some parts of the tradition have not been kept. You can even buy it in Superstore now all year round.
My version of the tourtière is an adaptation of an old recipie found in the Canadian Cookbook – the ancient ugly brown version which I used in high school home-ec many years ago. I took this recipe book with me to the Congo and unfortunately that is where it still is. (One does not evacuate carrying a heavy cookbook! And how could one choose which of many books are invaluable enough to carry out.) My recipe was modified while we lived in the Congo due to the fact that it is really hard to grind pork meat in a hand meat grinder – unless you have the refrigeration facilities to keep it real cold. So I would cook the pork roast till very tender and then put it through the food processer. It gave it a better texture too and was less greasy than the ground pork version.
My recipe is sort of like this:
Lean pork roast
One or two onions chopped up
Water to cover
Salt and pepper to taste
About a teaspoon of nutmeg -depending on the quantity of meat
Cook slowly (a slow cooker is great) till the meat is so well done that it pulls apart easily.
Let it cool and skim off the fat.
Process in a food processor till the meat is about the consistency of ground beef.
Fill the pie shells adding about 1/2 cup of liquid over the meat in each pie.
Bake at 350 till the crust is golden brown.
Serve with a spicey tomato sauce or ketchup.