I love tourtiere. It’s so Christmas to me.
It’s what you get in most French Canadian households during the holidays.
Full of meat and each family feels THEY make the best one. Don’t ever disagree-this is a very personal thing and you risk insulting someone’s Grandmere.
They are always full of old school spices like; cloves, cardamon, cinnamon…the type of spices you imagine that a chubby, cheery cook in a castle might have thrown into meats during cold, dark winters.
Lots of folks like a mix of beef, pork and veal but I really prefer straight pork myself. I also like to sweeten things up a wee bit with currants and then make them reminiscent of their Medieval roots.
Gather-up your spices and give them a good mash in a mortar and pestle. This is such a handy kitchen tool to have. If you’re looking for something to get for a cook then this is a great solution. Mine is a super cheap one that I got years ago at a certain Scandinavian boutique (wink. wink.). I’d like to get a big fancy one but I can’t really justify replacing something that works really well and that fits into my already crowded cupboards.
Add the spices into your meat and currants and let everything get to know each one another for an hour.
At this point you have a few choices: 1) make a big meat pie (super wonderful) 2) make mini tarts or 3) make little bundles. I like the bundles the best. You can either make a recipe of my no-fail pastry or buy some of the nice frozen products that are out there.
Freeze them and be ready to enjoy when you have guests OR enjoy right away after a quick bake.
- 1 lb ground pork
- ½ cup currants
- 2 garlic cloves
- Spice blend:
- 5 juniper berries
- 10 cardamon seeds
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
- Pastry for two, 9 inch pie shells.
- In a mortar and pestle (or a coffee grinder or with the bottom of a pot) mash the spices until smooth. Add to the pork, garlic and meat and let sit for an hour. Form into 1½ inch meatballs. Cut 2 inch rounds out of the pastry and wrap around the meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.