When someone is discussing french meat pie recipe, it is always in mind that a french canadian meat pie is at issue. And, referring to the origin of the recipe, the old and young recall about Quebec, or, more accurately, about Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. And very rarely someone remember, that French Canadians should be grateful for this recipe to their ancestors, who had been living in France.
In old France this nourishing, tasty and relatively simple dish was popular and favorite. Often meat pie was the main course during traditional New Year's and Christmas Eve dinners (reveillon) in families of an average or low prosperity. It was the distinctive feature of that pie recipe, that it admited to use for cooking the food already available in the home.
From here, by the way, occurs great diversity and variability of the recipe. Which distinguishes tortiere recipes nowadays too. It is possible today to find thousands different recipes of a french meat pie, each of them being in its own way nice and tasty.
The traditional recipe, apparently, originated from a province of Normandy, on which map it is possible today to find a place Lieu-dit La Tortiere (commune Moutiers-au-Perche, the nearest city). Probably therefrom those inhabitants have emigrated to Canada and revealed to the world the recipe of the canadian french meat pie.
You may use fatty pork for this dish. In old France they thought: the fatter the better, so leave it at your own discretion.
If cooking for hole family:
800-900 g of meat:
- raw chopped pork - most part
- any cooked meats available since yesterday (beef, veal, turkey, rabbit...) minced
1 cup of cooked meat broth
3 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
(row and chopped - another recipe)
Spices (just too many variations possible - to your taste):
- 1 stalk celery (diced) or celery salt
- rosemary (1/2 tbsp)
- cinnamon (1/2 tbsp)
- thyme (1/2 tbsp)
- 2-3 bay leaves
salt - your personal amount
Moisten the large skillet with oil and heat. Put chopped pork, stir constantly.
Add onion, garlic, other herbs and spices.
Add cooked minced beef or other meat. Continue to stir until the pork loses its color and morsels are well separated. Reduce heat and stir 5-7 minutes more.
Add broth, cover and cook about 40 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
Add mashed potatoes, mix. The stuffing is ready, leave it for 20 minutes to cool.
Make a traditional dough. Roll out pastry to about 4 mm thickness, and put it, fitting, in a deep pie plate. Fill with spiced meat mixture. Wet round the crust. Cover with top crust, sealing the edges. Cut in top crust steam vents with kitchen figured knife.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake pie at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top crust is golden.
Enjoy the pie, as old French people did.