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Christmas Eve tourtiere is the toast of Canadian tables

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Tourtiere, or meat pie, is a traditional part of French Canadian Christmas and New Year’s Eve fare, although the dish is enjoyed throughout Canada.

Like many traditional dishes, the exact ingredients vary by family with recipes handed down throughout generations.

Typically, the meat pie consists of tiny cubes of pork, veal and beef, slow cooked and served in a pie shell. Meats very often differ based on availability by location. You’ll find fish served in some meat pies in coastal areas, for example.

Spices also vary. Some tourtieres feature a festive spice combination of cinnamon, cloves and all spice. Others feature sage and thyme, or a combination of spices.

This recipe from hiddenponies.com features ground pork plus bread crumbs. Many recipes call for mashed potatoes instead of bread crumbs.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds ground pork
1 1/2 cups beef stock
3 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups finely sliced mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon summer savory or thyme
1/3 teaspoon cloves, ground
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
Pastry for a double crust 9-inch pie
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook pork, breaking it up, until no longer pink. Drain fat.

Stir in stock, onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, salt, cinnamon, pepper, savory and cloves. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or until 2 tablespoons of liquid remains.

Stir in bread crumbs and parsley.

Refrigerate to allow the flavors to meld.

Spoon filling into bottom shell, situated in deep pie plate or iron skillet. Cover meat mixture with top pastry and press edges to seal. Cut vents in top crust.

Brush top crust with egg and water.

Bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

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