This savory French-Canadian meat pie combines ground pork and warm spices with chunks of braised pork shoulder and shreds of chicken or turkey. But you could make it with leftover brisket, with venison, with smoked goose or ham. Traditionally it is served with relish or tart, fruity ketchup — I like this recipe for cranberry ketchup best, though I use a splash of fresh orange juice instead of the concentrate it calls for. “I’ve never had a slice of tourtière and spoonful of ketchup and not liked it,” David McMillan, the bearish chef and an owner of Joe Beef in the Little Burgundy section of Montreal, told me. “I especially love a tourtière made by someone who can’t really cook.”
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2 ½cups or 300 grams all-purpose flour
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- 16tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 4tablespoons leaf lard, cold and cut into cubes
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
- 1 ½-2 pounds pork-shoulder meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2tablespoons neutral oil, like canola
- 5allspice berries
- 2cinnamon sticks
- 13-ounce bottle stout or other dark beer
- 4large chicken thighs, or 1 large turkey thigh
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 4cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped
- 10to 12 ounces cremini mushrooms or a mixture of wild mushrooms, sliced
- ½cup dry white wine or stock
- 1pound ground pork
- ½teaspoon ground white pepper
- ⅛teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛teaspoon ground clove
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper or to taste
- 2medium-size potatoes, like Yukon Gold, grated
- 1large egg yolk, beaten with a tablespoon of water
Step 1Make the dough. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and lard in stages, pulsing until the mixture forms bean-size pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist but not wet.
Step 2Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gather into two balls. Flatten each into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Step 3Make the pork shoulder. Season the pieces of pork aggressively with salt and pepper. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, sear the meat on all sides until browned, turning as necessary, 10 minutes.
Step 4Add the allspice berries and cinnamon sticks, and stir to toast them, then add the beer. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer steadily until the pork is very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. (When the pork is done, you can allow it to cool in its liquid and refrigerate it for one or two days before using.)
Step 5Make the chicken or turkey. Heat oven to 325. Season the chicken or turkey thighs aggressively with salt and pepper, then roast in a cast-iron pan or shallow baking tray until their skin is crisp and they have cooked through, approximately 1 hour. (The chicken or turkey, too, may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator before using.)
Step 6Make the pie filling. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven set over medium heat, and when it foams, add the onions, garlic and parsley. Cook, stirring often, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, until they are soft and have given up their liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine or stock, and stir to deglaze the pan, then cook until the liquid has evaporated, 5 minutes.
Step 7Add the ground pork and the spices, and cook until the pork has lost its pinkness, 5 to 7 minutes. Add grated potato, and cook another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 8Shred the cooked chicken or turkey into the pot along with the cooked pork and about 1/2 cup of its braising liquid, stir lightly to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to a day.
Step 9Assemble the pie. Place a large baking sheet on the middle rack of oven, and heat to 400.
Step 10Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator, and using a pin, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 10 to 11 inches in diameter. Fit this crust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or cast-iron pan, trimming it to leave an overhang. Place this plate, with the dough, in the freezer.
Step 11Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 10 to 11 inches in diameter.
Step 12Remove pie crust from freezer, and put the chilled filling into it. Cover with remaining dough. Press the edges together, trim excess, then crimp the edges. Using a sharp knife, cut three or four steam vents in the top of the crust. Paint the pie’s top with the egg wash.
Step 13Place pie in oven on hot baking sheet, and cook for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350, and cook until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.