Evelyn Chartres Author

Cheese and Tourtiere Stuffed Pierogies

This is an amalgamation of dishes from different cultures. This recipe combines tourtières which is typically French Canadian and pierogies which are of Eastern European origin. What you end up with a bite-sized cheesy meat pie served as a main meal or as a side in large family gatherings.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (470 ml) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ⅔ cup of ice-cold water
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of tourtiere meat
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation

  1. In a medium-sized bowl mix first four ingredients. Knead the dough, adding flour as necessary until dough can be handled.
  2. On a floured surface, place dough, flatten and cut into 4 inch (10 cm) diameter circles.
  3. On each piece add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of cheddar and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of tourtiere meat. Fold in half and pinch edges to seal in contents.
  4. In a well-oiled pan fry on medium until pierogies are golden brown.
  5. Makes roughly 16 perogies in all. Serve with fried onions, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Tourtière

Meat Pie

There are many variants of tourtières and this one is the most iconic version. Filled with ground beef and pork, covered in crust and baked in the oven, this dish is often enjoyed with hunter sauce or ketchup.

For an added kick, add some grated cheddar cheese before the top layer of crust is added. Stuff crust tourtière?

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds (680 g) of ground pork
  • 1 pound of (450 g) of ground beef
  • 4 cups (940 ml) of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (5-10 g) pressed
  • ½ cup (125 ml) of diced onions
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Using a 3 quart (2.8 litre) saucepan pour in chicken broth followed by ground meat.
  3. Heat on medium-high and stir occasionally until cooked.
  4. Remove from heat, drain then set aside.
  5. Melt butter in a pan. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are transparent.
  6. Mix onions and garlic with the ground meat. Halve the meat mixture then fill two 9 inch (23 cm) pie crusts. Cover with crust, cut some slits so vapours can escape.
  7. Bake in oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

Tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean

The tourtières hailing from the Lac-Saint-Jean region in Québec are slow-cooked deep-dish meat pies made with potatoes and various meats cut into small cubes or diced.  Some families will serve it as-is or topped with a hunter sauce gravy or ketchup.

Ingredients

Crust*

  • 3 cups (705 ml) all-purpose flour
  • ½ pounds (225 g) of vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • Water as needed

Meat Pie

  • ½ pounds (225 g) pork minced**
  • ½ pounds (225 g) beef minced**
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 lbs (1.3 kg) potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine the meat, onion, garlic, and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In second large bowl, combine flour, shortening, baking powder, and salt.  Hand knead the mixture until malleable, it should not break apart or be too sticky to handle.
  3. Sprinkle a light layer of flour on a flat surface then drop ball in the middle. Use a rolling pin to flatten crust to a consistent thickness.
  4. Use a pot large enough to accommodate meat and potatoes. Place on top of the crust then cut out an area larger than bottom by about 2 inches (5 cm).  Make cutout of crust and place in the bottom of the pot.  Place some of the meat and potatoes composition crust is nearly covered.
  5. Build up the walls with crust until the entire mixture of meat and potatoes transferred to the pot.  Use the remaining crust to cover the pie entirely then punch a thumb-sized hole through the centre of the pie.
  6. Through punched hole, fill the meat pie with water until just below crust. Place the pie in the fridge (covered) for 5 hours or until ready to place in the oven.
  7. Start the oven and set to 325°F (170°C). Place pie in oven for about 30 minutes, giving the crust time to dry out.
  8. Drop temperature to 275°F (135°C), cover with tin foil then let contents stew for approximately 12 hours.
  9. Periodically check the pie to maintain water level. At about the 6-hour mark, refill for the last time to let the pie dry out a bit prior to serving.  You can adjust this step as necessary based on how often you need to replenish the water.
  10. Pull from the oven and scoop contents with a large serving spoon on plates.

*     Pre-made pie crusts may be used instead of making the crust from scratch.
**     Meat may be processed through a large-bore grinder to save time.