It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of the Olympics. Especially for the Winter Games there are always a lot of Minnesotans involved.
Here's my recipe for a Canadian classic, Tourtiere. It's a two-crust pie filled with a spicy pork filling. Traditional for Christmas Eve, I'm planning to serve it with a salad as we watch and cheer "USA, USA". Keep it simple and purchase refrigerated pie crusts or follow my recipe for a tender flaky pastry.
Serve warm from the oven, or make ahead and serve it at room temperature or reheated. Use refrigerated pastry as a time-saver. Add a salad for a complete meal.
Pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1 cup chicken broth
Fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Roll out half of pastry into an 11-inch circle. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and lift it into pie pan. Unroll and press dough into pan edges and bottom, making sure that the pastry is not stretched. Chill while preparing filling.
Heat olive oil in 9-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it softens, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Crumble pork into the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until meat is well browned and all pink has disappeared. Drain off fat. Reduce heat to low. Stir flour into meat and sprinkle with seasonings. Add broth and stir until sauce thickens. Season with pepper and add parsley. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
Heat oven to 400°F with oven rack in lower third.
Spoon lukewarm filling into the pastry. Roll remaining dough into 11-inch circle and place over filling. Pinch edges to seal. Flute the edges if desired. Cut several slits for steam to escape during baking.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store pie in refrigerator.
BAKER’S NOTE: You can reheat the pie in about 30 minutes in a 350°F oven.
Basic Pie Crust
Tender and flaky pie crust is easy to make if you follow directions carefully and use a food processor. I use a combination of butter (for flavor) and shortening (for flaky tenderness). After making the dough, it should be chilled before rolling out and handled as little as possible.
PASTRY FOR 1 DOUBLE-CRUST OR 2 SINGLE-CRUST PIES
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons ice water
Place flour and salt in food processor bowl. Pulse briefly to mix. Add butter and shortening and pulse until crust resembles coarse crumbs. Pour ice water through processor tube while processor in running. Continue to process 15 to 30 seconds or until crust begins to form large clumps. If dough doesn’t clump, add a little more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Turn pastry out onto a clean surface and gather it together. Cut in half and shape each half into a flat disc, about 5 inches across. Wrap pastry discs in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. (If you only need pastry for a one-crust pie, tightly wrap the remaining disk and freeze.)
Sprinkle flour lightly on your work surface. Remove 1 pastry from refrigerator, unwrap, and dust both sides lightly with flour. Place dough in center of work surface.
Place rolling pin in center of disk and roll out dough to the edge. Rotate dough about one-quarter turn each time you roll. Roll the dough circle to an 11-inch diameter, about 1/8 inch thick. Until you’ve made a few pies, your circle will be ragged. Continue by following the recipe above.