I thought I’d try a new take on pies as I’ve only really dealt with pies and pastries in dessert form. I stumbled across tourtiere, a traditional French-Canadian meal, and it seemed like a perfect match. This is a pie filled with pork and is commonly served around this time of year, so it seemed like great new thing to try.
I can’t say whether or not the outcome here is as it was supposed to be as I’ve never had a tourtiere before, but I was pretty good about incorporating the core of what I encountered in other versions of this dish, but without any local French-Canadians to give their seal of approval, we’ll have to go on faith on this one.
I was excited when this came out of the oven–I mean its pie and its dinner! I carefully cut out a slice and took a big bite. Texture, moisture, heartiness, and all of those sorts of components were great, but the flavor…it was kind of…bland! My food? Bland? WTF, I don’t do bland. I was irked and disappointed. However, on the second slice, I’d warmed up to it a bit, not really regarding it as bland any more, and by the third slice, I was genuinely craving it. My expectations were what got in the way of enjoying the first slice of this and the important thing that took getting used to for me is that this is, without a doubt, winter food. Its hearty but not screaming in your face zesty and exploding with flavor, and once I accepted that, I really came to enjoy this dish in a big way (and thankfully, I still have one slice left in the fridge which has my name on it!). I found that a small amount of a honey dijon mustard complimented it quite well, and so I might consider adding a dab of mustard to the filling next time. And also, the use of sage in this dish (which I’d use a pinch more of next time 😉 ) is my reason for this being my entry in this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Vanessa of What Geeks Eat.
- Pie crust
- 1 lb ground pork
- olive oil
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced small
- 1 cup chicken stock
- some flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp tamarind
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 egg
Before anything, prepare your pie crust. Set it up in your pie pan and save some of the dough for the top of the pie so that you can cover it over. Keep all of this in the fridge until you need it as you don’t want all of your hard work with the butter to have been in vain.
Now, prepare your vegetables. Finely mince the shallots and garlic cloves. Chop the celery and peel and dice the carrot into small squares. Peel your potato and chop it into small chunks as well.
In a large saucepan, heat up some oil and melt down a good sized knob of butter. Once that’s ready, cook the shallots and celery for about five or so minutes. Add the carrots and then the garlic and stir everything around. Once everybody looks a little softer, add in the chopped potato and stir some more.
After another five to ten minutes, add the ground pork and try to mix everything well. Once the color changes on all of the pork, add in the stock and all of the remaining seasonings. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Take this opportunity to also preheat your oven to 400?F.
Once the filling is done simmering, let it cool off for a few minutes and get out your pie crust and roll the extra dough flat so you have a top. Also whisk an egg in a small bowl (for an egg wash on the pie).
Fill the pie crust with the pork mixture and spread it out evenly. Then, seal the pie shut with the top layer of dough, doing your best to crimp the edges shut (Hopefully, your presentation skills are better than mine–I was a bit hungry and ready to eat by now). Brush the surface with the beaten egg and slit an ‘X’ on top so the steam has somewhere to go when this is baking.
Finally, bake this in the oven for 45 minutes. The egg wash should give your pie a really attractive color with an added flakiness to your crust.
Let this cool off for a few minutes and then grab a slice and enjoy!