I am not French but I did live in Quebec for 5 years and was fortunate to be included in one of their traditions; the Christmas Eve Tortierre! Always with recipes passed on from one generation to the next and savoured on Christmas Eve after Midnight Mass.
I was raised a heathen and without the influence of religion. My Father believed that there was too much Religion and not enough Christianity. Coming from Belfast Northern Ireland, we could see his point!
Moving to Belfast for 10 years as The Troubles were coming to an end, I too came to identify with that sentiment. I digress . . .
The French Canadian Tourtierre can be made family size or individual pies. They can include Veal or not, potatoes or not. Mine is potato-less and with only triple ground pork and beef.
If you can track some down in your local bakery, I highly recommend you try these delectible tasty Christmas traditions OR you can make your own like we did today (now frozen and safe for Christmas Eve)
French Canadian Tortierre
2 pounds ground pork
2 pounds ground beef
¾ cup finely diced celery
1 yellow onion, finely diced
5 cups hot water
2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon chicken base or Knorr or Oxo
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
salt and black pepper to taste
2 pie shells for 9-inch pies. top & bottom
- Dissolve the chicken granules into the hot water. Set aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Cook the onion and celery for about 5 minutes to slightly soften. Stir with a wooden spoon to not burn.
- Add the chicken stock mixture, ground pork, ground beef, and poultry seasoning. Cook over medium heat until the meat is cooked, about 20 minutes.
- Add the breadcrumbs, allspice, ground cloves, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Let cook another 10 minutes.
- Add salt to taste. Should only need a pinch of salt. (remember bouillon and breadcrumbs already have salt in them)
- Let cool completely. Add to unbaked pie shells. Either homemade pie crust or store-bought. Top with pie crust. Roll edges under and pinch around the entire pie. Use a sharp knife to slice a slit in the top of each pie.
- Brush with egg wash. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until the crust is nicely browned. About 30 to 45 minutes.