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Tourtiere- anyone know a recipe that doesn't use ground pork?

jdwdeville Nov 16, 2012 09:20 PM

Hi hounds,
Put this on the NE board but figured this might deserve a repost here...
I'm a 10 years now displaced (CA) New Englander who's missing a bit of home, namely, mom's holiday-tradition tourtiere.
I've seen a lot of recipes online that all seem to start similarly: get ground pork, cook pork to death in water, add mashed potatoes. Not the blissfully rich, spiced pie I remember at all!
Does anyone have a recipe for a tourtiere that does not start with lean ground pork? I'd like to make some comfort food for Thanksgiving and I think that will make all the difference...
Thank you!

  1. sunshine842 Nov 16, 2012 11:13 PM

    since it seems getting your mom's recipe isn't an option (is there a cousin/aunt/other relative who might have it? Or who might at least know some of the ingredients?)...

    ..Tourtiere is of French origin, and there seems to be many variations in Quebec....You might want to try googling "tourtiere recette", which would trigger the French-language recipes...then Google Translate and http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/... will get you through it.

    I know it's the long way round....but I wish you luck.

    1. n
      nadiam1000 Nov 17, 2012 01:58 AM

      As a former Montrealer, I love Tourtiere myself with a side of Chili Sauce. Last year I made a recipe from Chuck Hughes(recipe on cookingchanneltv website). It is made with ground pork and veal(I substituted ground turkey for the veal) and shredded potatoes. I used chicken stock in place of veal stock. I made the crust with lard and butter and made half the recipe into 2 9" pies. I baked one and froze the second one unbaked and we had it about a month later. We thought it was delicious, not dry and nicely spiced. I will be making it again this year. HTH nadia

      1. f
        FriedClamFanatic Nov 17, 2012 03:04 AM

        not sure why the pork is out.religious reasons?.....can ground veal be substitued?

        7 Replies
        1. re: FriedClamFanatic
          The Professor Nov 17, 2012 07:37 AM

          Unless there's a religious issue, I'd definitely stick with pork. I would seem that the big mistake is the directives you're reading which say to start with lean ground pork...that would be a fail, right out of the gate. You should definitely begin with pork that has a decent percentage of fat not only for the added richness, but for better flavor.

          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
            jdwdeville Nov 17, 2012 09:23 AM

            Pork is not out at all, just looking to sub out the ground stuff (or at least some of it) for something a little bit richer.

            1. re: jdwdeville
              chefj Nov 19, 2012 04:06 PM

              You need fattier pork. Onion
              Some people start with a little water just to get the Pork to break up easily but I never found it necessary .
              Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Bay are the spices I use about a half tsp of each for a couple of pounds of Pork. You can also use 2 tsp of Quatre épices for the sweet spices. Grated Onion.
              The Potato should absorb the fat and act as a binder, if you think that it will be too dry a little Heavy Cream and /or Chicken stock works wonders(for texture and flavor).

              1. re: chefj
                pinehurst Nov 19, 2012 04:09 PM

                This is the recipe of my Canadian family. My nana would occasionally incorporate a bit of mashed turnip as well as potato.

                1. re: pinehurst
                  chefj Nov 19, 2012 04:12 PM

                  It is one of those Recipes.
                  A woman I know in Northern NH only uses Pork, Nutmeg, Onion and binds it all with Flour and it is great.

                  1. re: chefj
                    pinehurst Nov 19, 2012 04:16 PM

                    I could go for a piece right now, and would love to try that simple variation....there are so many variations to the pie, and all are so good. I've had some with a very flaky, salty crust, and some with a moister, thicker crust. Everyone has their own spin. Your recipe did a great job of getting down all the items that made the "classic" pie of my childhood, chefj.

                    1. re: pinehurst
                      chefj Nov 19, 2012 04:26 PM


          2. CocoaChanel Nov 17, 2012 04:54 AM

            Here is a pork based recipe (and venison - not sure how available that is in California), but I have substituted turkey and it was quite delicious. David Lee is a chef here in Toronto and owned Splendido, one of the top restaurants in the city.


            1. j
              jdwdeville Nov 19, 2012 11:59 AM

              So... going with this one:
              Maybe not too traditional but looks like the moist, rich pie I want. Going to have to up the spices, though, 1/8 teaspoon of each seems light.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jdwdeville
                stak Nov 19, 2012 03:23 PM

                Good call - a recipe from Martin Picard should definitely be rich! Maybe I will try this one too.

                1. re: jdwdeville
                  nadiam1000 Nov 20, 2012 01:59 AM

                  This recipe looks great. I may have to try that one this year!

                  1. re: jdwdeville
                    biondanonima Dec 4, 2012 01:51 PM

                    I'm planning to make this one for Christmas Eve myself this year. However, to answer the OP's question, my mother (who lived in Montreal for several years before I was born and supposedly picked up the recipe from a native friend) made tourtiere with ground beef when we were growing up. Simple one-to-one sub in any tourtiere recipe you like. I may even use ground beef in the Epicurious recipe instead of ground pork.

                  2. w
                    westaust Nov 20, 2012 08:40 AM

                    If you don't want to do a tourtiere with ground meat, you can always go the way of a Tourtière Lac St-Jean, from the eponymous region of Quebec, which uses cubed meat instead. (they believe a real tourtiere is only made that way, what we call tourtiere made with ground meat is simply a meat pie, but that's a debate that's been going on for generations!)

                    I can't vouch for this recipe, as i've never done it, but it will give you an idea of what to use, and how to do such a tourtière!

                    Otherwise, for a ground meat one, my mom's recipe uses pork and veal, nutmeg, clove, black pepper, salt, no potato at all (or starch) so it's a little more crumbly, but so good! And try to get your pork not so lean!

                    1. j
                      jdwdeville Nov 29, 2012 08:38 AM

                      hey all, just a follow-up: the Martin Picard recipe was absolutely excellent! I added some extra whole allspice and cloves to the braising pork shoulder, and drained off a good amount of the fat from the braising liquid before adding it back to the rest of the pie filling.
                      Also this was my first attempt at a homemade pie crust and thanks to the magic of replacing some water with cold vodka (no gluten formation), it was successful.
                      One of our dinner guests brought a friend who was in town from Montreal who gave my diplaced tourtiere very high marks!

                      1. prima Dec 4, 2012 01:06 PM

                        Does anyone have a recipe calling for venison?

                        I realize I could just follow the Picard recipe, and use a mixture of pork and venison.

                        Found this link to some unusual tourtieres http://www.canada.com/topics/lifestyl... , including a pork/beef/veal/venison version, and a seafood version from the Gaspe.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: prima
                          prima Dec 19, 2012 05:30 PM

                          another pork/beef/veal version, calling for cloves, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon:


                          vegetarian chickpea and mushroom tourtiere:


                          tourtiere brioche:


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