Thanks to Madam Chretien, our then Prime Minister’s wife, and “Canadian Living” magazine tortiere became a family favorite over 20 years ago and remains so to this day.  We only serve it over Christmastime, starting with Christmas Eve.  If we have extra it graces our Boxing Day table or New Year’s Eve table.

As always, over the years I’ve made a few modifications.  I’ve use gluten free flour for the crust, but I still prefer the real unbleached flour crust.  I’ve replaced the lard based pastry with an oil based one.  I’ve increased the meat in the recipe. In the past I’ve replaced half the beef with TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) – a soy product.  I reverted back to full meat when someone in the family developed a soy intolerance.

This is in no way a low calorie or gluten free recipe, but for one or two nights of the year I figure that’s okay.  I basically assume I’m eating gluten, and calories, over Christmas.  They are in everything and everywhere.

This recipe is quite large.  It makes 2 8″ square cake pans of tortiere, or one very full 9″ round tortiere.  I usually bake one for Christmas Eve and freeze the other for New Year’s.  This year I’m just making one for Christmas Eve.

I serve tortiere with salad and a vegetable. This year it will be Kitchen Sink Salad and a mixture of vegetables. Depending on our guests we may or may not add perogies to the menu.  Dessert will be an new original recipe, Blueberry Custard Crepes.

Serving Size : 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground beef, lean
1/2 large onion — finely chopped
1 medium potato — peeled and diced
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Pastry recipe for 2 double crust pies

Put oil in large pan over low heat. Add all ingredients but pastry. Mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 minutes. Cool. Line casserole (2 – 8″ diameter pies) with pastry. Fill with meat filling. Cover. Seal edges and prick.

At this point you can either freeze them, bake one and freeze the other, or bake both.  Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes.

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