Un bleuet loin du fjord

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The one and only meat pie recipe - or This is NOT a tourtière

(Commentaires en français plus bas)

This is by far the most popular post on my blog but it appears to have little clout if any among the anglosphere, so I thought I'd repost the English recipe again, for the sake of the world.

Once again, it's time to give you the meat pie recipe. I should probably say it's copyrighted to my grand-mother from Port-Alfred, but I don't think you can copyright recipes. So feel free to copy it, giving proper credits to the source, provided you never, ever call it a tourtière, otherwise I will hunt you down, rip your throat out, disembowel you then throw your guts into the depths of the Saguenay fjord to feed the Greenland sharks that swim in its abyss. Understood?

So here goes:

The one and only meat pie recipe (because all others are crap, trust me)

First, a warning: like tourtière (a completely unrelated dish, I must emphasize, unless you think blueberry pie is a variation on beef Wellington), it's better to make meat pies over two days. You prepare the dough for the crust and the filling the day before, then put them together the next day.

To make about three dozens muffin-sized pies (really, it's the best format) you'll need the following ingredients.

One dough recipe (though I suggest to make it double, just to be sure, plus you'll have enough to make sugar pie, blueberry pie, or any other kind of dessert pie your feel like). If you don't know how to make it, here's the embedded version, from the tourtière recipe, as you need the same basic dough, and I quote:

Here is Jorghnassen’s father’s recipe for the dough. It is very simple, and even with several rollings, the crust will stay tender.

* 1 lb of fat
* 5 cups flour
* 3 tsp baking powder
* 2 tsp salt

Mix these ingredients with a pastry cutter until grainy consistency.

* 1 cup cold milk
* 1/2 cup cold water
* 1 egg, beaten
* 3 tbsp brown sugar (or less)

In a bowl, mix well the beaten egg, milk, water, and brown sugar. Put the wet mix into the dry ingredients. Combine with a wooden spoon until dough consistency. The dough will be easier to roll if refrigerated for 12 to 24 hours.

Filling ingredients:
* 5.5 pounds of ground (or minced) pork
* 0.5 pound of ground veal
* 5 or 6 medium onions (1 per pound of meat), finely chopped
* 3 or 4 branches of celery, cut into tiny little pieces (see a pattern?)
* Salt and pepper to taste, a bit of allspice and herbes de Provence if you wish


Put all the above (except for the dough, duh) in a large cooking pot, in which you may have put a little bit of water (1/8 of a cup at most) first (to prevent sticking). Cook at low heat, stirring regularly, until all the pinkness of the meat is gone. Let it cook (always at low heat, uncovered) for 1 to 1.5 hours, until the liquid has reduced. Let it cool for a bit, then transfer to a large bowl (or bowls) and stick in the fridge overnight.

The next day, you'll need muffin tins (the more you have, the better), a bowl about 5.25 to 5.5 inches in diameter, and a small glass (but not a shooter), the latter two will be used to cut circles from the rolled dough. Preheat the oven to 350F. From that point, it's pretty simple. You put the larger dough circles in the bottom of the muffin tins (I strongly recommend greasing and flouring the tins beforehand, it'll make your life easier later), fill with the meat mixture, cover with a little dough circle, seal (make a little hole on top with a knife if you wish), and repeat until the muffin tins are filled. Then you put in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes (until the crust is nice and golden, make sure it's dark enough because if it's pale golden your bottom will be uncooked and you'll break the pies when trying to get them out of the tins).

After that, you let the pies cool a bit (10 minutes at least) before taking them out of the muffin tins. You eat a couple for supper, let the rest cool further, then freeze them until needed. Once frozen, you can reheat them (don't thaw them) in the oven at 300-350 for 20-25 minutes. Best served with plain ketchup and coleslaw, or with homemade apple sauce next to the turkey for the réveillon (that's on Xmas Eve, but at or after midnight, so technically on the 25th, the Christmas supper in Québec usually consists of leftovers from the réveillon).

After many repeated experiment, I found that the above quantities of meat give closer to 4.5 dozen muffin sized pies, and thus you need 1.5 "recipe" of dough (which is why I recomend to make a double dough recipe, i.e. 2 pounds of fat, shortening or lard, and 10 cups of flours). You can also make more "regular size" pies to reduce the amount of dough necessary. But you can't beat muffin-sized in terms of texture and crust to filling ratio.

Here's what meat pies I made all by myself look like:

My wife obviously has more talent when it comes to presentation. More pictures of the process are there if you need them. Also, don't put garlic in the filling.


Le billet le plus populaire de mon blogue est de loin la recette de pâtés à la viande de grand-maman Laurence. Ça fait maintenant 5 ans qu'on en fait à chaque année, et cette année je me suis tapé tout ça tout seul. J'ai deux petite remarques à faire au sujet de la recette:

1- 6 livre de viande, avec les moules à muffin que j'ai, ça donne pas 3 douzaines de pâtés mais 4.5 douzaines (54 exactement hier). Ça prend par conséquent une recette et demie de pâte ("une recette" contenant une livre de crisco ou de saindoux, ça fait pas mal pareil; et 5 tasses de farine), c'est pourquoi je recommande toujours d'avoir deux recettes de pâtes pour 6 livres de viande.
2- Je recommande fortement de graisser et fariner les moules à muffins avant d'y mettre les pâtés. Ça aide pour le démoulage. Il faut s'assurer que les pâtés soit bien cuits et refroidis avant de les sortir des moules.

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  • Oh que je suis tenté de l'essayer! Mais je serais le seul à en manger ici.

    By Blogger Guillaume, at 12/14/2011 01:33:00 pm  

  • Fais-en une plus petite recette. Partage avec des carnivores comme ta nièce...

    By Blogger PJ, at 12/21/2011 04:12:00 pm  

  • Malheureusement ma nièce est végétarienne maintenant, enfin pescetarienne.

    By Blogger Guillaume, at 2/01/2012 06:49:00 pm  

  • Sacrilège! Tu dois la ramener dans le droit chemin! C'est pas parce qu'ils sont cruels avec la nourriture là-bas qu'il faut abandonner la chair animale. Fais-lui manger du canard (sans lui dire ce que c'est), ça devrait aider...

    By Blogger PJ, at 2/01/2012 09:24:00 pm  

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