Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Monday: Tortiere

This falls under the Fambly Week umbrella; my high school best friend's mom (holla Julie!!) made the best tortiere I've ever had, and it was always awesome when I could sneak some. Unfortunately she passed before my BFF was into cooking, so her recipe was never passed on. I've tried a few commercially available ones, they just did not do it for me, so I figured I would give it a shot on my own.

This is traditionally a pork meat pie, but I wanted to try a couple of variations, see what gave the best flavour. I tried all pork, half pork / half beef and half pork / half turkey. The turkey blend just did not have enough meaty flavour, so it was between the beef and all pork. I went with the beef mixture, but I really think either would work.

You will need:

For the crust:

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, cold and UNSALTED
1/4 c lard, cold
6-8 Tbsp cold water
1 egg white

1 lb extra-lean pork
1 lb exra-lean beef (or just use all pork - it's your pie, sailor!)
10 oz potatoes, 2 medium
2 celery stalks
2 small onions
3 garlic cloves
1/4 c red wine
1/2 c beef stock
1/2 tsp each nutmeg, ground cloves, thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt, pepper

I just ate the carrot, decided not to use it. It was nummy, though!

Turkey / pork at 12, Beef / Pork at bottom right, all pork plus pork at bottom left

First, get your crust ready. It needs time to rest and break down gluten and blah blah. So, measure your flour and salt into a wide bowl, add in the cold butter and lard. Work it in with a pastry blender or two knives, until it looks like itty bitty pea / crumbs.

Make a well in the center and start adding in your cold water by the tablespoon. Swirl it with your fingers, adding enough so that it feels cohesive without being gooey. We do not ever want gooey.

Once it will hold together in a ball, break it into two balls, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Gluten blah blah destroying something or rather, make it so!

On to prep! LOTS of prep! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel your potatoes, (sacrilege, I know, but I wouldn't want people wandering across a potato peel and having it throw them off completely), chop them up and bring to a boil in a pot of water. Cook for 10-15 minutes until poke-able, drain, mush and set aside. While they are boiling, chop your celery and onions into a fine dice, mince your garlic. That's not actually a lot of prep, maybe it just felt like it because I did three types. Anyway!

Cook your meat in a LARGE saucepan, breaking apart as you go. I really like it to be as fine as possible, but you may like chunky-style. It's your pie, sailor! Do as you will. Break it down somewhat, cooking until all of the pink is gone, about 8-10 minutes. Drain off the fat.

Add everything else in. Seriously, dump it all in there, including the potato. It's gonna take a little while, mix it carefully in that pan that totally looked big enough, didn't it? Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Take the lid off and let simmer for another 5-10, until the liquid is almost all gone. Taste! Add more pepper, probably more thyme, salt, whatever. Taste again!


Roll out half of your dough, I suggest this awesome pie roller measuring mat, because it's pretty much idiot proof. Drape your rolled out dough over the pie plate, brush with egg white. Roll out the other half of your dough, leave it on the mat while you fill your pie.

Add in the meat filling, top with the rolled out crust.

Mush together the outside ring, make it as pretty as humanly possible. Or you-ly possible. Slice a few vents in it, brush with egg white and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and flaky-looking.

It's a happy pie!

Also a ginormous pie

Happy and now with a tan!

This worked out to 450 calories per slice, and there are 8 servings in one huge pie. That is super high, but we could still in a nice refreshing salad with this and have a little bit of dressing. Like dot it on.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a great recipe! And so well written, too! But, I'm totally rude, if someone finds a potato peel in my food, they can just deal with it!