Monday, 15 December 2014

Shepherd's Tourtière (Tourtière Chinois)

I made this as a trial run to see if it would work for our Christmas dinner. It won't, unfortunately. Dad's partner is now well enough to join us in eating dinner, but he is on a very soft diet after being fed through a tube for the better part of 7 months, and I decided that this has just a little too much texture to it, even without the pastry. Most people will be perfectly happy about that, though, so here it is.

We thought it was very tasty, and for anyone who wants a gluten-free tourtière the potato topping works very well. I am not the first person to come up with this idea, but for an amalgamation of two very popular Quebecois dishes, it is surprisingly not common.

4 to 6 servings
2 hours - 1 hour prep time

Shepherd's Tourtière

Make the Potato Topping:
1 kilo (2 pounds) potatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
salt & pepper to taste

Peel (or just wash and trim off the bad spots) the potatoes, and cut them into even chunks. Put them in a large pot with water to cover them, and boil them until tender. Drain them well, and mash them with the butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Meanwhile...

Make the Spice Blend:
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
2 teaspoons rubbed savory
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Grind the pepper and allspice thoroughly, and blend with the other spices.

Make the Filling & Finish:
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery
OR 1/2 cup diced celeriac
2 cups chopped mushrooms (optional)
1 tablespoon oil or fat, possibly
500 grams (1 pound) ground pork, chicken or turkey
250 grams (1 pound) ground beef
3 tablespoons flour (or other starch to thicken)
1 cup beef broth
1 or 2 bay leaves
a sprinkle of paprika to finish

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Peel and chop the onion finely. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and finely chop or grate the carrot and celery or celeriac. If you wish to add mushrooms, clean, trim and chop them.

If you choose the chicken or turkey, you will need to add a little fat to the skillet before you get started to help things along, as they are so very lean. Otherwise, add the crumbled up meats to the pan, along with the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms if using. Cook, stirring and breaking up the mixture constantly, until it has changed colour all thoughout. Mix in the garlic and the seasonings, including the flour and the bay leaves; cook and stir for a minute or two more, then add the broth. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 or 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened and much reduced.

At this point the potatoes should be sufficiently cooked to drain and mash; do so.

Transfer the meat filling to the pie dish or casserole in which you wish to serve the tourtiere. A 9" pie plate will be the right size. Gently spoon the mashed potatoes evenly over the top and smooth them out to form an even, solid top layer. Sprinkle with a little paprika for colour. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until lightly browned and bubbling around the edges. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Last year at this time I made Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Spaghetti Squash Nests


fagpunk said...

I googled 'seasonal Ontario recipes' an found your blog! trying out the Sheperd's Pie (Tourtiere) tonight! i think i be back soon to try more of your recipes!

Ferdzy said...

Thanks for commenting, fagpunk, and I hope you enjoy it.

fagpunk said...

results: partner said he'd eat it every week. Housemate said its real tasty with out being too greasy and he even mixed some left overs in to his omelet this morning with excellent results.

e.war said...

made this again! but in closer examination I don't see where the Egg is used....

Ferdzy said...

Huh! Me neither. I'll remove it... don't know how that got there... *grabs a broom* Glad you are enjoying it though!