Classic French-Canadian ground meat pie, traditionally served at Christmas.
Meat Filling (for 2 pies):
Crust from 4 or 5 slices of breadcrumbled
Pastry (see Notes):
5 1/2cupscake and pastry flour
For brushing before baking:
Prepare the filling: Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the meat is no longer pink. Do not brown the meat. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Crumble bread crusts into mixture and stir until absorbed into the mixture. Remove mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled before using.
Make the pastry: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or two knives until the lard is incorporated. In a one cup measuring cup, beat together the egg and vinegar, then add enough water to the measuring cup until it measures 1 cup. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, adding about 2/3 of it at first, stirring, then adding just as much more as is needed to make a moist dough. Divide dough into 4 pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Take out 1 piece of dough and place onto a well-floured work surface. Roll dough into a circle large enough for a 9-inch pie plate. *Note: You will have plenty of dough. Roll to the desired thickness and trim off the excess. Place in bottom of pie plate. Add 1/2 of the meat filling. Roll another piece of dough large enough to cover. Pinch or use a fork to seal the edges together around the outside. Repeat with two more pieces of dough and the rest of the meat filling to make 2 pies. *Your excess dough can be refrigerated or frozen for another time and purpose, if you like.
Mix an egg with 1 Tbsp of water and generously brush the tops of the pies. Cut a few slits in the middle to allow the steam to escape.
Place in preheated oven (*If using glass pie plates, reduce the oven to 375F once the pies are placed in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes), otherwise, bake at 400F for 35-40 minutes, or until golden. If at any time you think your pastry may over-brown, simply lay a sheet of aluminum foil over-top for the last part of baking.
The pastry recipe will make enough pastry for three 2-crust pies. As the filling here is based on two pies, you will not need all of the pastry. You can refrigerate or freeze the extra for another time or purpose.Cloves are a common addition to Tourtière, but I’m not fond of them in this pie myself. If you are a clove lover, you can certainly add a pinch to the mix.As mentioned above, you can use all ground pork (my favourite version) or use a mixture of ground meats, such as beef, pork and or veal.Be sure to read the Ingredient and Cook's Notes above the recipe card for more tips, tricks and substitution suggestions for this recipe.