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Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipes Of Our Mothers - Jane Carrier's Meat Pie "Tourtiere"

I first discovered comforting, wintry meat pies (or pork pies, as we call them from Harvey's Bakery in my native New Hampshire) when I was a kid growing up. I still delight to the plunge of a fork into the supple, buttery, perfectly browned crust, releasing the steam and gentle aroma of spices emanating from the tender, finely ground meat simmering underneath. My family's dear friend Jane made remarkably similar meat pies too from scratch as gifts for us around the holidays (indeed, still does) and I've wanted to know the incredible mystery behind it for years. These pies have always been a precious thing of delicious beauty to me, but I'd resigned myself to the fact that I must relish each morsel only when home at Christmas time--until now. I recently asked Jane to reveal all and send me the recipe passed down from her French memere to make a pie of my own, at any time! Now, if you've never heard of a pork or meat pie, well, with the frost of February upon us, it is absolutely incumbent upon you to get cooking and follow the wonderfully warming recipe below--the tourtiere is a real treasure, as of course is Jane. We also like to add garlic mashed potato flakes instead of plain, or real mashed potatoes, along with liberal doses of cinnamon and nutmeg in the meat that we've ground twice. Merci, Jane et votre memere pour le tourtiere!

Submitted by Jane Carrier:

Meat Pie "Tourtiere"
Memere Carignan's recipe
Yields one 9" pie
Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes
Pie crust top & bottom for 9" pie, both glazed with egg wash (1 egg white diluted with 1 tb water)
Filling for meat pie:
3 parts ground pork (1 1/2 lbs ground pork)
1 part lean hamburg (1/2 lb)
1 small onion & 1 rib of celery, chopped
1/4 lbs margarine
2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
3 tbs poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Pickled beets for a garnish

Use lean pork (I have the butcher grind center cut roast). Mix hamburg and pork in large saucepan, add onion and celery, cover with water. Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Stir frequently to prevent from sticking to bottom of pan. When cooked, drain off liquid and set aside for futher use. After removing, excess liquid meat should look crumbly with a little liquid left. Add margarine and two cups of instant mashed potato flakes, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper (you may want to taste and adjust seasonings).
Blend mixture until meat and potatoes are well combined. If mixture is too thick add a little reserved liquid. Remember the pie will be sliced like a fruit pie and served hot.
Let mixture cool while preparing pie crust.
Line bottom of pie plate with bottom crust and brush with diluted egg wash mixture.
Spoon meat mixture into shell, filling pie plate up to the rim.
Cover with top crust, prick with tine of fork, brush with diluted eggwhite or milk.
Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is golden.
Slice and serve with pickled beets.

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