Saturday, December 18, 2010

Baking time! Tourtierre, step by step

It's that time of year again!  The weekend we dedicate to making our Christmas tourtierre.  This year, I ordered a total of 24 pounds of ground meats which should get us about 20 pies, the way we fill them. ;-)

2010 Christmas Tourtierre

I give the butcher shop a week to fill our meats order.  The last of it was ground shortly before I picked it up, but the rest was frozen as they slowly filled my order.  They don't normally carry some of what I ask for.

Though our own recipe is a family variation, this is the basic recipe we use.  The quantities are for one pie, but the ingredients in the photo are x24, except that only about half of the meat is in the photo.  Also, our mix includes some spices different from the recipe.

Mdm Benoit's Quebec Tourtierre

1 pound minced pork
1 small onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp savory
1/4 tsp celery pepper (I use just celery seed)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup water
1/4 - 1/2 cup bread crumbs

2010 Christmas Tourtierre

All the meats are dumped into our giant stock pot.

2010 Christmas Tourtierre

Then everything but the bread crumbs are added and stirred in.  For one pie, you would bring it to a boil over medium heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to break up lumps of meat.  It takes a fair bit longer with this much meat!  (Note: while most of the ingredients are increased by the same amount, I use far less water; perhaps a quarter the amount it would be if I used the same math as for the rest.)

Once the meat is cooked, take it off the heat and stir in part of the breadcrumbs.  Let it sit for 10 minutes, then check to see if the liquid is absorbed.  If not, do it again every 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

It should look like this.

2010 Christmas Tourtierre

evening update: corrected photo

At this point, the filling is allowed to cool, then baked in a double crust pie.  For this much, we let the filling cool for a few hours, then stick it outside overnight.  It doesn't freeze completely in that time, which works rather well when it comes time to fill the pies.

When we didn't have someplace safe outdoors to put the pot, the trunk of a car works rather well.  Of course, if you live somewhere that doesn't get very cold at night, you'll have to find space in a fridge or freezer!

Tomorrow, we make the dough and assemble the pies.  Hopefully, we won't run very late and I'll be able to post photos at the end of the day.  If not, I'll have them up on Monday.

Oh, man, the house smells good!


Anonymous said...

I think your last picture is the wrong one that you intended to put there. No change in the meat and the one above it looks just the same. Or is that just me missing something?

Thanks for posting your great works with us! I trust it does smell as great as you say it does!

Anna said...

Whoops! How did I miss that?! Thanks for the note - I'll fix it right now. :-)