Meat Pie - Tourtiere
Meat PieTourtiere (Photo by All-About-Moose)
There's already a meat pie recipe on here but we do things a bit different so I thought I'd send this in.
A bit of background..... my mom's side of the family is French Canadian and my ancestor first came to Canada back around 1700. Meat pie is a Christmas tradition and when I married my wife 10+ years back, we got my mom to teach her how to make them because I seriously love meat pie.
The recipe here, and the couple I looked at online show to use ground meat. As in, meat that was ground while still uncooked. I have a neighbour who's form Quebec originally and a couple years back I gave him some ground moose and he gave me a meat pie he made from it. It was excellent but I didn't like the texture as much as our method.
We use roasts.
I season them (among other spices, I always add one package of dried onion soup mix), add finely diced onions and roast them in the oven until just done nicely.
I then cut the cooked roasts up into grinder sized chunks (I'm still using my old hand grinder) and let them cool, usually overnight. The meat juice gets frozen and put away until its meat pie making day. After grinding, I put the meat into ziplock bags and label them with type of meat and weight and freeze them. We mix our pies 50/50. Which is to say, 50% elk or moose and 50% pork.
Once I have all the meat ground and ready to go we decide on a meat pie making day, usually a Saturday or Sunday. The night before we take the meat and juice out of the freezer to thaw and we boil up the potatoes and let them cool overnight. They grind better when cool....and yes, they go through the grinder too!
It's worth mentioned here and now that neither my wife, nor I, are any good at making pastry dough so we buy the premade, frozen pie shells at the local grocery store. We buy the deep dish ones that come two to a package. We use one shell for the bottom, one for the top.
We clean the sink really well and use that to mix everything up. First, the meat and potatoes go in and get thoroughly mixed. Then my wife turns all the meat juice into a kind of gravy and adds it a bit at a time while mixing. When she has the consistency she wants, it goes into the shells. The finished pies get marked with an E or an M (depending on what they're made of) and they go back into the pie crust boxes and those too are marked appropriately and then they're frozen.
Because everything inside is cooked already, you're basically just heating the pie and cooking the shell. Normally its 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Top with (my favorite) cranberries, chutney, gravy, or whatever you prefer and eat!
Typically we mix 4 lb's of moose or elk with 4 lb's of pork and 10 lb's of potatoes and that makes about 15 pies.
It's not overly fancy and doing the job is a little time consuming but they make for a very quick/easy meal.