Tourtière is a complicated dish. Most people can agree that it’s a spiced meat, double-crusted savoury pie but after that almost anything goes. And while it’s a classic Canadian fare, there are about as many recipes for tourtière as there are people in Quebec. Which is where tourtière is from, in case you’re not familiar. Which brings us to another debate: how the heck does one pronounce it?
If you’re not from Quebec (like me), you’ll probably anglicize it as [toretyair]. If you are from Quebec, well then I don’t need to tell you how to pronounce it, but it’ll be something similar to [tore-tsyair] or [tore-chair]. These are all acceptable terms for what we can concur is a mouth-watering meat pie.
Traditionally made for the holidays, tourtière just may be the perfect cold weather dish. I mean it has not one, but two flaky pie crusts surrounding the filling which counts as comfort food in our books. Then there’s the filling itself: a highly seasoned (in a good way) mixture of lean beef, pork, onions and potatoes. And it’s that seasoning that separates a tourtière from any old meat pie. We use a healthy dose of allspice; some recipes also call for nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. You can see why it’s most often served around the holidays – those are the same spices in our favourite winter desserts.
So how does our take on tourtière measure up to something you might get in La Belle Province? We asked our friend Danny, originally from Napierville, Que., to taste it and let us know.
“It was really good,” he assured us. “The spices were quite good. It was really flavourful.
”Besides the spices, Danny told us he was a fan of the flaky crust (That was a nice touch! he declared), as well as the potatoes in the filling. Some tourtières are made without potatoes but as Danny said matter-of-factly: you have to have them. We couldn’t agree more.
Tourtière is our kitchen feature this month, look for it hot in our kitchens or grab one to take home for an easy, quick dinner. Just reheat it at 375F for about 15 minutes or until the filling is warm. Serve with Alberta made Honey Bunny bodacious tomato ketchup, Cosman & Webb organic maple syrup or Mrs. Bridges onion marmalade.