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5 from 6 votes

Tourtiere (Christmas Meat Pie)

Ground meats seasoned with "holiday" spices and tucked between two layers of all-butter pastry dough. Delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: French-Canadian
Servings: 8

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 226g) cold, diced, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For the filling:

  • butter and olive oil - 1 tablespoon of each
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • "Holiday" spices: 2 teaspoons kosher salt; 1 teaspoon black pepper; 1 teaspoon rubbed, dried sage; 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger; 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg; 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice; 1/4 teaspoon ground clove -- whisk together in a small bowl
  • 1/2 cup good quality beef stock

For glazing the crust:

  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water

Instructions

Making the crust:

  • Tip the flour, salt, and butter into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5-10 times just to break up the butter. Add the water and process just until the mixture holds together when pressed with the fingers -- 20-30 seconds. Gather the crumbly mass into a ball, press it with into a disk, and wrap with cling film. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Making the filling:

  • Warm the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion, and toss with a spatula to coat. Reduce the heat to "low," cover the skillet, and let the onions sweat until soft -- 5-7 minutes.
  • While the onions are cooking, cover the potatoes with water in a saucepan, and bring them to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook until fork tender -- about 20 minutes. Drain off water and mash the potatoes thoroughly.
  • When the onions are definitely soft (and while the potatoes are still boiling), add the ground meats to the skillet. Over medium-low heat, break up the meat with a stout spoon or flat spatula. Cover the skillet, and continue cooking the meat, breaking it up with the spoon or spatula from time to time, until done or almost done -- 10-15 minutes. Remove some of the fat if you wish. Then stir in the holiday spices and the beef stock, and let the mixture simmer, uncovered, until liquids in the pan have mostly evaporated -- about 30 minutes.
  • Off heat, add the mashed potatoes to the meat mixture. Stir will to combine. Then let the mixture come to room temperature.

Filling and baking the pie:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll half of the dough into a 12-inch-diameter circle, and drape it into a pie pan (my pan is 9 inches wide, 2 inches deep). Add the filling mixture, packing it down well, and smoothing the top with a spatula. Roll out the remaining dough, and use it to cover the filling. Crimp dough edges to seal them. Brush with the egg wash, and cut 4 slits in the crust to vent.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is attractively colored -- about 1 hour. Let the pie cool to room temperature before slicing. Serve with ketchup, and, if you wish, a side of peas.