Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tourtiere Pie - Secret Family Recipe - Shhhhh!

It's that time once again. Once a year my husband and I team up to make tourtiere pies; a family favorite tradition! We have now been doing this for almost 30 years. I think we only skipped one year. This recipe is one that my Grandmother Begin handed down to my mother, who handed it down to me. It most likely had been handed down to her previously, so it has been in the family for a long time.

There are many variations of tourtiere pie, but this is ours:

1 - 10 lb. bag of potatoes
1 piece of clear pork - approx. 4lbs
1 piece of clear beef - approx. 4lbs
1 medium size onion
salt & pepper
poultry seasoning
4 to 5 pre-made pie crusts or homemade if you desire

Put the meats, onion, salt and pepper in large deep kettle. Add water to cover and bring to boil. Let boil for 3 hours.

Remove meat to a plate for cooling. Save the water. Peel the bag of potatoes, rinse, and add to the water. Bring potatoes to a boil and boil until tender - when you can easily stick a fork in them.

Once the meat has cooled, run it through a meat grinder into a large roasting pan. Remove the potatoes from the water and place them in the roasting pan on top of the ground meat. Mash them with a potato masher until all lumps are gone. Add some of the water, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Keep adding a little bit of the water and poultry seasoning until it is more of a sticky consistency - not runny, but not dry either. You got that??? I usually have to use most of the water, a couple of hits of salt and pepper and maybe two to three good hits of the poultry seasoning, if that helps!

In the day, my grandmother and mother used to make their own pie crusts. I have let them down in this area. We use the "just roll out" pie crusts by Pillsbury. It is so much faster and still tastes good.

Roll out your crusts, place the bottom crust in your pie plate, add pie filling to the top and add the top crust. Make sure to put a little bit of fresh water around the rim of your bottom crust so that the top crust sticks really well to it. Make a fancy fluted edge and bake according to the crust directions.

It takes two people - one or both to get everything cooked and the pies made and one to be the 2nd taste tester!! I love this job!

We always try one pie the night we are making them - just to make sure that they are safe to eat - lol.

When cooled, wrap in foil and freeze until you are ready for Christmas. We usually defrost them the day before Christmas in the refrigerator, leaving the foil on, and then reheat at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours on Christmas morning.

We usually serve them with prime rib, some sort of coleslaw, cranberry sauce, olives, pickles, turnip, rolls, & stuffed celery. Of course that doesn't count the tradional cheese ball with crackers, the shrimp with cocktail sauce, the bacon wrapped scallops, the spinach dip, or the vegetable platter. Let's not even get going on dessert..... Of course, at peak, we are a group of almost 30 people. That number has dwindled over the years due to everyone's schedules and distances. This year we will be 15 for dinner.

I hope if you get to try this SECRET FAMILY RECIPE that you enjoy it as much as we do! Send me comments if you do try it!!