Saturday, 2 August 2014

Sweet and Savoury Pie Class...the savoury: Tourtière

Last week I attended a pie-making class at a local place called the Culinary Studio.

A hands-on class, we learned to make three types of pastry - one with lard, another with butter, and a pâte sucrée as the third. 

First up - a savoury meat tart, or une tourtière.

Une tourtière is a traditional French Canadian dish, usually made with minced or ground pork, veal, or beef. It is often served on Christmas Eve, which is a tradition in my own family, something I always look forward to. This recipe includes a home-made tomato chutney type sauce - try mango or peach chutney or apple sauce as an accompaniment.

I have never used lard before - but it functions virtually identically to vegetable shortening.  I have also never added this much fat in order to create anything before....and I asked, just to be sure "So, we throw in the entire package of lard, then?"....."okaaaay..." Of course, I have also never made such a large amount of pastry before, either.  The pastry recipe makes quite a bit more than you need. I may make some small adjustments when I try it at home, or set the extra aside for a quiche. 

This was absolutely delicious - don't change a thing - I will be making this for the holiday season this year, for sure.

My apologies for the quality of the photo - I was limited to my vintage blackberry as we made and then enjoyed this in class.

Savoury Meat Tart 
Recipe from The Culinary Studio

1 lb ground pork
1 medium potato, peeled
1 lg onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried sage (optional)
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup water

1. Boil potato gently, whole, until just cooked.
2. Add all other ingredients to a large frying pan. Using a spoon, or a spatula, break apart any chunks of meat. The key to a good meat tart is the stirring and chopping during cooking so that the meat and vegetables are not lumpy and as fine as possible.
3. This should simmer covered,at least 1/2 an hour but the 'breaking down' process may take 20 minutes or so.
4. Remove bay leaves and grate cooked and cooled potato into the mixture
5. Taste for seasoning
6. Fill raw pastry shell, cover with top shell. Egg wash and create steam holes.
7. Bake pies at 425°F for 20 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350°F for a further 30-40 minutes or until deep golden brown. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Flaky Lard Crust:
Recipe from The Culinary Studio
(makes enough for 2 large crusts)

4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shortening, diced
2 eggs
4 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp vinegar

1. Blend together flour and salt. Quickly work in shortening with your hands.
2. Mix together eggs, water and vinegar. Incorporate into flour until just combined.
3. Turn out onto a floured work surface, divide in half, shape into discs, wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using.
4. Roll out as required

Homemade Ketchup:
Recipe from The Culinary Studio

1-32oz can of tomatoes, pureed
2 medium onion, small dice
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup soft brown sugar
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard

1. Saute onion in a small amount to oil until golden brown. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
2. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and mustard. Simmer until thick. Season with salt. Cool and place in glass jar. Keep refrigerated.

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