When I was young, my Grandma would come out from Ottawa every second Christmas. She would spend lots of time cooking for us. She would make different holiday treats and one dish that we would always eat on Christmas Eve, Tourtière. This is a French Canadian meat pie that is made from ground pork, onions, and garlic. It can be made with various types of meats, but we always made ours with pork. For my version, I wanted to add my favourite vegetable to it: Leeks.
I did some research on Tourtière and found that after it originated in Quebec, it migrated to the New England States, and in coastal areas it can be made with fish such as salmon or tuna. I want to try it with salmon! I think that might be an interesting dish, so stay tuned for a different post. Now back to today’s dish.
Tourtière: A Dish Close To My Heart
This dish has so many fond memories. When I was a kid, we would always eat Tourtière as our dinner on Christmas Eve. My mom and Grandma would pre-make them and put one in the oven, then we would go to church for Christmas Eve mass and come home, and it would smell AMAZING in the house. Then, we would sit and eat together and talk about Christmas, and we would be filled with joy from the season and the excitement of what was coming the next morning. Then we would open one Christmas Gift, always Pajamas! After that, we would change into our new PJ’s and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The BEST traditions ever!
- 1 white onion
- 1 leek
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 pounds of medium ground pork
- 1 1/4 cups of water
- 2 pie crusts (I used pre-made crusts)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven, combine pork, onion, leek, garlic and water. I cut my garlic into thin slices and did not use my garlic press. I find that if you chop garlic, it gets distributed more evenly.
- Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are cooked.
- Add salt and pepper (about a teaspoon of each or, as always, to taste.)
- Add the filling into one of your pie crusts. Make sure that you spread the filling evenly throughout the surface of the pie while ensuring enough liquid is added.
- Use the second pie crust to cover the top of the filling and press the sides of pie crusts together and close the pie up. Put a few fork marks into the top of the pie. Now put it into the freezer for one day.
- Now that it’s tomorrow, preheat your oven to 275 degrees (F) and bake for about 3 hours. You need to freeze it first and then bake it because this locks in the flavours and allows for the pie to be juicy and much more flavorful. You can tell that it’s done when the crust is golden brown and when you can see some of the juices bubbling out of the top.
- Remove from oven and let sit for a bit to cool before serving, can be eaten with Ketchup.