The holiday season is a time that I truly love. The gathering of family and friends over cocktails, dinner and brunches. I love the magic of all the festive lights. It can sometimes be hectic and I try not to get overwhelmed by it all. Of course, we’ve decided to host Christmas dinner here for immediate family and luckily everyone likes a traditional feast so I won’t need to go searching for too many new twists on recipes! But what often catches me off guard are the meals before and after the “big” Christmas feast. While I plan out what I’m serving that night, I also have to remember lunch that day or the day before when the shops and most restaurants are closed.
A Tourtiere is great way to serve a comforting meal this time of year for guests or family. It takes a bit of time but it’s not difficult. You can also prepare it ahead and preheat when you need it.
What is a Tourtiere? It is a classic meat pie dish that comes from Quebec. It is often thought that is from the Lac-Saint-Jean region, but if we dig deeper we find more history. The recipe for tourtiere as we know it today is a cross between French tort and the culinary tradition of the British colonists. This is why it is sometimes also called “cipaille” — an interpretation of the English “sea pie” although it never contained seafood.
The popularity of this dish in the Christmas season comes from the fact that hog slaughter happened between December 10 to 22, producing a lot of meat to be prepared, preserved and frozen. Tourtiere could be kept in freezers to feed families during the winter months.
This recipe is for 8 individual mini-tourtieres but I wanted to make one big one but used the same ingredients. It also calls for a cup of coffee in the ingredient list. I was intrigued and it turned out great! I decided to try doing a leaf motif with the pastry on top. But you can certainly do a traditional pastry but just make sure you cut a few openings to allow the steam to come through.
8 Ramekins or for one 9-inch deep dish pie
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove pressed
- 1 1/2 lb (680 grams) ground pork
- 1 small potatoes, peeled and finely diced or grated
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) savory
- 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cloves
- 1 cup (250 ml) Van Houtte Coffee Holiday Blend coffee, brewed
- 2.2 lb (1 kg) store-bought shortcrust pastry (or make your own)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) water
- 1 beaten egg
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and ad the onion. Cook for about 3 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds.
- Add the groundwork and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring to break up the meat into pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the potato, savoury, ground cloves and coffee.
- Continue cooking over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes or until the liquid has nearly evaporated and the potato is cooked.
- Let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch (3 to 4 mm).
- Cut out 8 circles of dough of a 5 inch-diameter (12.7 cm) using a cutter or a bowl.
- Place the dough in 8 ramekins taking care to press the edges.
- Once the meat mixture has cooled, pour over the dough. brush the edges with egg wash.
- Cut out 8 circles of dough of a 3 1/2 inch diameter (8.9) using a cutter or a bowl, and place on the ramekins to cover the meat mixture.
- Brush the dough with egg was.
- Make a few small incisions at the centre of the pies to allow the steam to escape.
- Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Serve warm.
If you want to make a pretty presentation with the top crust, you can cut out leaves (or use small cookie cutters) in varying sizes and overlay on top. Just make sure you leave a few small gaps so steam can come through.
I simply served this with a side salad. A Chop Chop salad (as in, rough chop your salad veggies up and toss in a bowl and give it a fancy name) with pomegranate dressing is a nice balance and festive too!
*Recipe provided by our friends at Van Houtte Coffee. More delicious recipe (check out the Tiramisu Yule Log) and holiday ideas can be found here.