Sharing a Family Recipe for the Season: Tourtiere

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At the Down to Earth Markets' holiday party, one of our favorite recipes was back by popular demand: the Tourtiere, a delicious pork pie of French Canadian descent. It's from a lady named Cecile Crevier Barthello, the great aunt of Frankie Rowland, our Director of Advertising and Community Relations. Frankie explains that Cecile was a homesteader -- she was a skilled food maker whose repertoire included wine from the gooseberries grown in her own yard. She also "threw her plates," but we promise it wasn't as alarming as it sounds. She was a talented ceramist who crafted her own table dinnerware. 


The tourtiere was among her many makings. The story goes that she made this dish for the men in the family, and they would roll a slice into a napkin for lunch while hunting in the winter woods. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do:

1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
1 and 1/2 lbs. lean, ground pork
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup boiling chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup finely chopped celery leaves
2 pie crusts
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
1 egg lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sauté onion and garlic in butter until tender. Add pork; continue to cook, breaking up meat and stirring until browned. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Add stock, salt, pepper, sage, mace, cloves, and celery leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until meat is thoroughly cooked and excess liquid evaporated, 20 to 25 mins. Cool. 

Line a 9" pie plate with 1 crust. Fill with cooled mixture, remove surface fat. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and top with 2nd crust, making steam holes. Brush with egg mixed with water. Bake until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and cook about 15 minutes longer or until pastry crust is done. Yield: Six servings.