Tuesday, January 5, 2010

T-squared

So obviously this post is about two things that start with T....

We got a big winter storm on New Year's Day here in Halifax. We were having dinner and playing The Settlers of Catan (Christmas gift to ourselves) with some friends.
This is not technically one of the T items but definitely deserved a photo! :) If you have never played this game run out and buy it now it is AWESOME!

What were we eating you ask? We were eating the Tourtiere I made before Christmas!! Which is the 1st T item on my list.
Tourtiere is a meat pie that originates from Quebec (the official French Province in Canada).
It is traditionally eaten as part of the Christmas eve revellion (a party after midnight mass that lasts into the wee hours of the morning), Christmas and New Year's meals. It can be made with ground pork, veal or beef or a mixture! We traditionally eat it with ketchup in our family but it is wonderful with a tomato chutney too. Since Teresa requested the recipe, I will divulge our family secret and give you the Thanase Tourtiere Recipe (with some Alli modifications for extra flavour!).

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 2 REGULAR PIES OR 1 DEEP DISH - crust recipe not included but I can post the one I use if there is demand...let me know)

1 lb of each of ground pork and beef (I use lean)
1 large onion, thinly diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup of water
4 pie crusts (or just 2 for deep dish)
ground cloves
cinnamon
sugar
salt
pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Fry the onions until tender. Add garlic and fry until just before it turns brown (~1 minute). Then add the pork, beef, water and spices and simmer for an hour adding water as necessary to prevent drying. Do NOT overcook the meat or your pie will be dry. So here is the thing with the spices...the recipe says a pinch but I use a lot more than that (not to mention there was no garlic in the original recipe...oh the plain recipes of the past)... I would say at least a teaspoon of each of the cinnamon, salt and pepper, 0.5 tsp of cloves and 1.5 tsp of sugar. Play with the spices to get it to your liking but this is my best estimate. It should be flavourful but not overpowering (especially the cloves)...so definitely add a little and taste as you add more. Once the meat is done, put it into a pie crust, cover with a second and cut some steam vents on top (see my photo below...they are so beautiful, I thought to post it again...).
Place in a preheated oven at 425F and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Bast the top with egg white to get an even brown top. These pies freeze very well. Freeze them in the raw pie crust and do not defrost prior to cooking. Just pop them in at a lower temp (~350F) for longer so the top doens't turn black before the centre is cooked. Monitor the internal temp with a thermometer...you just want to make sure it isn't still cold in the middle without risking burning your finger (trust me, I've done it before and it is not pleasant!).

So after, we finished consuming said pie (among other delicious gooddies brought by our guests), we looked at the HUGE pile of snow outside (like 25 cm!!) and decided it was time to go TOBOGGANING!!! It was the first time the sleds went out this winter and it was a blast!
video
(me on my crazy carpet!)
We went to the Halifax Citadel, a National Historic Site located on the top of a glacial drumlin.
See all that green grass... well all that gets covered in snow in the winter and some areas are really steep. We we flying down the hill on the side with the trees in the summer photo above. It was perfect for an evening of shear FUN! I highly recommend it to anyone living in Halifax! We left our place at 9 pm and came home at 1 am. We sure worked off that pie!

Happy Tuesday!

6 comments:

  1. so much fun!! i remember you saying you did that last year.... cool :)

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  2. That sounds like a fun day! And if you love Settlers, you should try a game called Carcassone - even TC (who hates games) loves it :)

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  3. Adam has been asking for Settlers of Catan, and was disappointed he didn't get it for Christmas. We have Carcassonne and looooooooove it - I may be mistaken, but I think we introduced Sarah C and TC to it, too. :) Maybe I'll get Settlers for A for his birthday! :)

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  4. Tortière looks delicious. The Acadians make another version of meat pie which I make with wild rabbit every christmas. Isn't it such fun playing in the snow. I love it.

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  5. T is, of course, my favorite letter! ;D

    Thank you for divulging your family secret Tourtiere recipe!! I just love meat pies.

    I've not heard of Settlers of Catan; is it a Canadian game? Is it good for older kids? I may have to look for it when we're next in Vancouver.

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  6. Teresa,

    The game is rated for age 10+. It is a German game and I am sure you can find it at any specialty gaming store (with comic books and the like) or online...I know eBay has it, probably amazon too. :)

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