My holiday recipe: Let the smell of fresh-baked tourtière fill your home (2024)

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Montreal food blogger Monique Dykstra is the brains behind the blog My French Canadian Year

Marilla Steuter-Martin - CBC News

Posted: December 24, 2018

Montreal food blogger Monique Dykstra is the brains behind My French Canadian Year, a project where she cooks her way through Quebec's culinary traditions.

Over the course of the year,Dykstrahas been experimenting with all the classics: from pea soup to maple taffy to a full roasted Lac-Brome duck.

When the holiday season rolls around, she is quick to turn to the classictourtière, which has been a staple on Quebec Christmas tables for centuries.

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Dykstrasaid that there's a lot of variation when it comes to the different recipes floating around, and no two are exactly the same.

"That was one of the hardest things,figuring out what was the quintessential tourtière recipe," she said. "And then I realized that it's really regional differences and there was no one recipe."

She ended up adapting her recipe from a fewdifferent sources, simplifying and tweaking to make it simple and approachable.

​Dysktra insists that she's not a "natural chef," so when she experiments in the kitchen, she likes to keep things fun and easy.

Hertourtièreis amix of pork, veal and beef, and takes the better part of a day to create. It's labour-intensive, so not a bad option for Boxing Day or later, Dykstra said, since spending all of Christmas Day in a hot kitchen can take some of the fun out of it.

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"So, this is something that I would make the26thor the27th, and it'sjust a nice simple dish that's tasty — it'scooking away and you can smell it," she said.

"It's delicious and itfills the house."

Now, having come full circle on her first year of running the blog, Dykstrasaid she's discovered a lot of new recipes and dishes that she plans to bring back year after year—tourtièredefinitely makes that list.

"It's really good. I don't even like tourtière, but after I made this,I've just come to love it."

Ingredients

Prepare 3-4 hours ahead of baking time

1½pounds ground pork or veal
1½ pounds ground beef
2-3 onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons oil
6 potatoes, cooked then mashed
1-2 cups beef or vegetable broth (or just water)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
Salt and pepper to taste

Pie crust
Makes two covered pies or four shells.

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5 cups flour (635 grams)
1½ tsp. salt
2½ cups shortening (320 grams)
1 egg
½ cup cold water
1 tbsp. white vinegar

Instructions

Start by making the tourtière​ filling. Heat a large skillet, add oil, then sauté chopped onions for about 10 minutes on medium heatuntil onions are soft and golden.

With your hands, mix the ground pork and beef together in a bowl. Add the fried onions. Return the meat and onions to the frying pan andcook for another 10 minutes, chopping up the meat as it cooks.

Add the remaining ingredients to the meat (broth, mashed potatoesand spices), and mix together. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat. Taste the meat mixture and add more salt, pepper or spices if needed. Cool in the fridge for about twohours, until completely chilled.

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Making pie crusts

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add room temperature shortening. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it forms rough crumbs.

Beat egg, water, and vinegar together, then pour over flour mixture. Stir mixture together with a fork until moistened.Divide dough into four equal size balls, roughly 275 grams each.

Roll out out one of theballs of dough, and put it in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon in half of the meat filling, patting it down lightly to compress it a bit. Brush the pie rim with water, and place the second circle of dough on top, pressing the edges together to seal. Trim edges and decorate the top.

Repeat to make the second pie.

Egg wash

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The egg wash will give your tourtière a golden glow, so don't be tempted to skip this step.Beat the egg and milk together and brush the mixture over the top of the crust and around the edges. Cut steam vents on top of both pies to let moisture escape.

With the rack in the bottom third of the oven, bake at 375 F for about 50 minutes or until the pies are golden brown.

Consult the recipe on My French Canadian Yearhere.

This is part one of a series where Montrealers share their favourite holiday recipes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marilla Steuter-Martin
Former CBC journalist

Marilla Steuter-Martin was a journalist with CBC Montreal from 2015 to 2021.

My holiday recipe: Let the smell of fresh-baked tourtière fill your home (2024)

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