I'm Andrea Wilson, the webmaster for Balance & Dizziness Canada. As a balance and dizziness sufferer, I relish the times when I can do something that doesn't make me dizzy! And, unlike looking down to chop mounds of vegetables, making this recipe does not set off my symptoms.
Our family is not very big on tradition, but my younger son and I do enjoy one special Christmas tradition: making tourtières. A tourtière is a spiced meat pie traditionally made for Christmas and New Year's celebrations in Quebec. Here is a link to some history about these very tasty meat pies.
My mother used to make tourtière for Christmas, along with her famous English trifle (the best I've ever eaten!). Our tourtière recipe came from a 1975 cookbook by Helen Gougeon. The cookbook has been lost, but I have a photocopy of both the meat and pastry recipes. (Note: Amazon.ca has a paperback version of this cookbook for sale.)
Here is Helen Gougeon's recipe for one pie (although we always double the recipe). It's very easy to make!
Ingredients for Meat Filling:
- 1 pound ground pork (or mix pork and beef)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 small clove of garlic, peeled, but left whole
- 1/2 tsp salt (if you double the recipe, do not double the salt)
- 1/4 tsp celery pepper (or 1/8 tsp celery seed powder and 1/8 tsp ground pepper - grind celery seeds in coffee grinder or mortar and pestle)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground savory
- 1/2 cup water
Instructions for Meat Filling:
Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then cook uncovered until meat is no longer pink and most of the water is gone. Mixture should be damp, but not wet. Remove garlic clove. Put mixture in fridge to cool.
Pour cooled mixture into unbaked pie shell. Brush edges with water or egg wash (I usually forget to do this). Cover with pastry lid, pinch edges gently together. Cut vents in top to allow steam to escape. Note: My mum would brush the tops of the pies with beaten egg, but I usually forget to do this.
Bake for 10 minutes at 450 F. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake until golden brown on top (about 25 minutes, but keep an eye on your pie as oven temperatures can vary).
You can eat it hot (and it will be delicious!), but it's best to let it cool down to room temperature. It's also good cold!
Makes one 8-inch or 9-inch pie. Delicious with Heinz chili sauce (our favourite!) or other relishes. This pie freezes very well!
Ingredients for Pastry:
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup lard
- 5 1/2 T cold water
- 1 tsp salt
Instructions for Pastry:
Sift a quantity of flour onto a sheet of waxed paper. Measure 2 cups of the sifted flour back into the sifter. Add salt and sift into a bowl.
Drop lard into bowl and cut into flour with two knives (or pastry bender) until flour-coated particles are about the size of peas.
Slowly stir cold water into remaining 1/4 cup sifted flour. Mix until smooth. Add to lard mixture, stirring with a two-tined fork, until particles stick together when gently pressed with fork.
Form gently into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes -- no longer -- before using.
Divide pastry into two balls and roll out to fit a 9-inch pie pan (Note: an 8-inch pie pan will work fine, too). See meat recipe for baking details.
I wish I had a picture of our pies to show you, but we ate them all up! However, they looked similar to this: