What you need to know
Hi there! I’m so excited that you are going to join me to learn to make one of my favorite meals of the year!! While I personally always have Tourtière on Christmas Eve (or sometimes Christmas Day), it is honestly delicious any day of the year. There are many ways to make a Tourtière and I’ve made many different versions, but this one is my favorite of all time. The meat filling blends pork and beef, and the pastry is to die for – flaky and delicious with shreds of cheese throughout.
Below you’ll find your recipe, including what ingredients you need as well as what tools and equipment you should have out and ready. For prep, just gather your ingredients and tools if you want to cook along, making sure you keep all the ingredients for the pastry in the refrigerator. You could make the tourtière with me and then pop it into the oven as class ends, eating about 40 minutes later. Or, you could make the tourtière with me and then transfer it to the freezer to enjoy on another night. Of course, you’re always welcome to just watch and as always, the recording of the class will be made available to you the following day.
Substitutions (if you can’t find something, here are some suggestions):
- Meat. This recipe calls for pork and beef (or veal), but traditionally Tourtière was a pork pie so you can choose to use what you like - all pork, all beef, or split the pork and beef. You could get crazy and sub in some ground turkey if you like, but I've never had Tourtière that way before. (It might be delicious!)
- Fresh breadcrumbs. Fresh breadcrumbs are the kind you make at home, not purchase at a store. You just need to process some bread into crumbs with a blender, food processor or diligently with a knife.
- Tomatoes. You probably already know my preference for canned whole tomatoes over diced or crushed. For this recipe however, it's imperative to get whole tomatoes because we might not use all the liquid in the can, so buy whole plum tomatoes.
- Canned peas. Yep, you read that right! You'll notice "canned peas" under "Optional Ingredients" on the shopping list. That is not a typo. My favorite French Canadian always has canned Le Sieur peas (Le Sueur is the American equivalent) next to her piece of Tourtière and there's no getting out of it! Well... at least not for me! 😉It's strangely delightful, actually.
- Making Pastry. When it comes to making the pastry, I'll be using a food processor. You could do the same, or you can make it by hand. It's a little messier and longer by hand, but totally do-able.
· Food processor OR large bowl and pastry cutter
· Chef’s knife
· Cutting board
· Measuring cups and spoons
· Cheese grater
· Plastic wrap
· Large sauté pan
· Wooden spoon or deglazing spatula
· Can opener
· 9-inch pie dish
· Rolling pin
· Half sheet pan or roasting pan (totally optional)
· Decorative cookie cutters (optional)
French Canadian Tourtière
Serves 6 to 8
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, juice drained and reserved and tomatoes chopped
¼ cup juice from canned tomatoes
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon dried savory or thyme
½ teaspoon salt
pinch ground cloves
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Make the pastry. Combine the flour, salt and cheese in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the butter chunks are the size of peas.
2. Combine the egg yolk and sour cream in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and pulse together in the processor until you are able to shape the dough into a ball. Shape the dough into two disks, wrap them well with plastic wrap and let the pastry rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (You can even make the pastry a couple of days ahead of time.)
3. Make the filling. Pre-heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onions, celery and garlic until the vegetables are translucent, but not browned. Add the pork and veal to the pan and cook until the meats are no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat and then add the spices, tomatoes and tomato juice and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Stir in breadcrumbs and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Let the filling cool while you roll out the pastry and pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
5. Roll out each pastry disk into a circle about 12-inches in diameter. Place one in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate, pressing the pastry up the sides of the pan and letting ½-inch hang over the edge. Brush the bottom of the pastry crust with Dijon mustard and add the cooled filling. Cover the tourtière with the second circle of pastry. Fold the edges of the top pastry under the rim of the bottom pastry crust and pinch the edges together in a decorative manner.
6. Brush the tourtière with the beaten egg and decorate the top of the tourtière with any pastry scraps, brushing the decorations with more of the beaten egg as well. Transfer the tourtière to the oven and bake for 40 minutes until nicely browned.
7. Serve with tomato jam, chili sauce and sour cream.