Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A bit of Fronsh Cooking.

Hello fans, I thought I write about some traditional family recipes today.  French Canadian, that is.
Shown in the photo is a Tarte Aux Pommes, that mon mari made this morning.  The recipe is from "The Essential Pepin,"  so no directions for this one.  Jacque's mother made this every day for her restaurant and it is a simple patted- in crust with quartered apples and a bit of sugar.  Simply made and simply delicious.

I will give you the recipe for my Grandmother's Tourtiere...a meat pie that was traditionally served on Xmas Eve, but is so good I now make it other times of the year.  I have been enjoying this dish from childhood, but some may find it a bit strange.  Many other cultures make a similar pastry and it was probably originally made with "game" rather than pork.  We always served it with cranberries, but any fruit side dish complements the pie... I make a Vesta Salad or a simple Citrus Salad with mint sugar.     Here you go.    For 1  9" pie.
About 3 lbs of ground pork, 20 -25% fat is needed. I like to use fresh ham and have the butcher grind it for me.
Unbaked crust for 2 crust pie.
1. med. onion, chopped and 2 chopped celery stalks.
Salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.  this is done "to taste," but I'll try to get you started.

In a heavy pot, cook the onion and celery for a minute or two  in a bit of canola oil and then add the ground pork. Cook over medium heat till meat browns then add some salt and pepper, a pinch of cloves and about a tsp. each of cinnamon and allspice.  If the mixture looks too dry add 1/4 cup or so of water.
Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently and adding more water , if needed.
Now the hard part...adding the spices.  since I grew up with this dish, I know how it should taste, ergo it's difficult to put down an exact amount.  The only direction I can give is to taste and season until it's the way you like it.  I would approximate 1 T. for cinnamon and allspice and I always add a t. of nutmeg, just because I like it.  BUT...the taste is entirely up to you.  You should be able to taste salt and a combination of spices that is pleasing but not overwhelming.
Pour this filling into your unbaked pie crust.  Cover with top crust and bake til the crust browns.
About 45 minutes at 350 should do it.
I hope you like it.  Let me know if you make it or if you're familiar with this pie or one similar to it.
Tomorrow I think I'll give you the recipe for my Grandmere's Xmas Pudding with Tart Sauce.
Bon Appetit!

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