Try a classic tourtiere this ChristmasTuesday, December 11
At this time of year our family kitchen looked more like a well-oiled production kitchen, operating from the crack of dawn until well into the night. It seemed like every time I saw my mom, she was wearing an apron. It was as if she had to though, because our household became a revolving door of friends and family coming and going, and it would be rude not to feed them.
So she baked day after day, preparing cookies, pies, tarts, dinner rolls, you name it. Each and every time I made my way through the kitchen it was taking a risk. Would I be put to work? If so, what menial task would I be stuck with? Breaking bread for the seemingly endless mound of stuffing? Or maybe I would be mincing onions for meat pies. Despite the risk, it wasn’t without the reward, as I usually had the pleasure of being the guinea pig. Whether it was licking the mixer paddles or sneaking the first of the shortbread cookies fresh out of the oven, it always made the hard work worth it!
One of my fondest memories from the holidays was the chance to enjoy tourtiere, the classic French Canadian meat pie synonymous with the Christmas season in Quebec.
My version of tourtiere uses game meat, with venison being my favorite choice. I also use a few more spices and seasonings that hadn’t really found their way into the family pantry. Mom’s is still fantastic, but I have really grown fond of mine. I hope you enjoy my take on this classic dish as much as my family now does.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Feeds: 3-4 people
Fills: 1X 9inch pie shell, or 12-15 mini pie shells
1 lb. venison, caribou, elk, or even bison, use a lesser cut, like tri-tip or chuck
2 Tbsp. shallots, minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. canola oil
½ cup red wine
2 cups veal or beef stock
1 cup demiglace or beef gravy
1 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground mace
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. red currant jelly
1 cup mashed potatoes (you can even use your leftover mashed potatoes from last night’s dinner!)
9-inch pie dough, with top
Use your favorite recipe, pick it up at grocery store, or head to my Facebook page at facebook.com/ChefShufelt where I share my mom’s secret dough recipe!
If you are preparing your own pie dough, do that now, so that it has time to rest before rolling
If you have some leftover mashed potatoes great! If not, prepare 1 cup worth of your best mashed potatoes
Meanwhile, using a knife, mince the game meat by hand, alternatively you can use ground meat
Heat a large saute pan to high heat, add the cooking oil, followed by the meat
Saute on high heat until lightly browned, then add onions and garlic, continue to saute
Deglaze the pan with the red wine, allow to reduce
Add the stock to the pan and bring to a simmer
Add the spices and seasoning, simmer slowly until the stock is all but reduced
Now add a rich beef gravy, or better still, if you can get it, demiglace, and the red currant jelly
Stir all ingredients to combine and cook down until fairly thick and hearty, you do not want this runny for when you are placing it in the pie shells.
Set aside and cool, you do not want the filling to be hot when placing it in the dough
2 Tbsp. milk
Now it is time to put the pie together!
Preheat the oven to 350F
Using a spoon, spread the mashed potatoes thinly, about half an inch thick, over the bottom of the pie shell, this will help to ensure that your pie shell from getting soggy
Top the potatoes generously with the meat filling, followed by the top layer of dough, pinching the dough together to seal it
Using a paring knife, slit a small cross or star in the top of the dough to allow the steam to escape, preventing the dough from getting soggy
Combine the egg and milk, whisking together
Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie, this will help to provide a nice sheen to the finished dough
Place the pie on a baking sheet and place in the oven, bake until the dough is golden brown and flaky, 20-25 minutes
Slice a piece of the meat pie and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy! Head to my Facebook page at facebook.com/ChefShufelt where I will share my mom’s pie dough recipe to really take this dish to the next level!
Another fond memory of the holidays was enjoying a glass of eggnog. We would always make ours from scratch, using whole, unpasteurized milk, straight from the farm. It could not be beat! Mom always made a “special” jug just for me. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that just meant there was no booze in it. Here’s our holiday recipe for you to enjoy.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 days
Serves: 10-12 cocktails
12 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1.5 cup heavy cream
4 cups homogenized milk
1 cup bourbon
½ cup dark rum
Ground cinnamon to taste
Fresh ground nutmeg to taste
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
Pinch of salt
Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy
Add cream, milk, bourbon, rum and salt, then stir
Add in fresh ground cinnamon and nutmeg to your desired liking
Refrigerate for at least three days before drinking, be patient, it’s worth it!
When serving, pour over ice cubes, garnish with whipped cream and a little bit of freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy responsibly!