Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tourtière Pie with Cheddar Cheese, the Beehive Cluster and the Full Worm Moon by Margaret Ullrich

It's March, but it seems that winter isn’t quite ready to leave us just yet.
We’ve had a couple of days of blustery weather, with heavy snow and high winds.
The Trans-Canada Highway was closed for a while, and everyone had to stay where they were for safety’s sake.
Oh, well… it’s March in Manitoba and we're used to getting a few surprises.

I recently posted the recipe for Manitoba Tourtière Pie.
A friend mentioned that her son loved cheeseburgers.
She wondered if cheese could be added to the filling.
Well, why not?


The dough for the crust can be made two days in advance.

Don’t skip chilling the filling. This prevents the crust from becoming soggy. 

The dough that is leftover from trimming can be used to make decorations for the pie.
Either roll flat and use cookie cutters or roll the dough into a rope to make spiral decorations.

To freeze an unbaked pie: wrap well and freeze for up to one month. 
Defrost in refrigerator for 24 hours, then bake.
For best results, bake pie on bottom oven rack.

In a rush? You can use a package of refrigerated pie crusts. You’ll need two crusts.
But don’t make the pie and freeze for a later meal. 
The crust won’t be as good as it could be.

                        Tourtière Pie


Cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 Cup solid vegetable shortening
Chill 30 minutes.

Also chill 1/2 Cup water.

In a medium mixing bowl blend
2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Using a pastry blender, cut the chilled shortening cubes into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with some small pea-sized pieces remaining.

Sprinkle over the flour mixture
4 Tablespoons cold water
Using a fork stir and draw the flour from the bottom of the bowl to the top, distributing the moisture evenly into the flour. 
Add more water by the tablespoon until the dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together.
Divide the dough into two pieces, making one piece slightly larger than the other. 
Flatten into 1/2 inch thick disks, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. 
Chill for 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.


Finely chop 
1 onion 
2 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic

Peel and grate or chop 
1 pound baking potatoes

In a dutch oven place
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 
Heat oil over medium-high heat. 
1 1/4 pounds ground pork, beef or veal or a combination
the chopped onion, celery and garlic
Stirring frequently, cook until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. 
1 Cup beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
the grated potatoes
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  
Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes. You want most of the liquid to evaporate.
Remove the filling from the heat.
Chill in the refrigerator until cool, about 30 minutes. 

While the filling is cooling:  
On a lightly floured surface roll out the larger piece of dough.
Fit the dough into a 9 inch pie plate. 
Roll out the remaining pastry and leave on the floured surface.

Stir into the cooled filling
1 to 1 1/2 Cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, as mild or as strong as you like
Mix well.
Spoon the filling into the prepared pie plate. 

Preheat oven to 425°F 

Beat together  
1 egg
2 teaspoons water
Brush some of the egg mixture over the edges of the pastry in the pie plate.
Place the top layer of pastry over the filling. 
Seal the edges, then trim and flute the edges. 
Cut steam vents in the upper crust.
Add the extra dough decorations (see hints).

Brush the remaining egg mixture over the top of the pastry, and decorations. 
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. 
Leaving the pie in the oven, reduce the heat to 375°F.
Bake for an additional 45 - 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden.

Serve as is or with chili sauce, or ketchup, or chutney.
A cooked vegetable or a salad would also be a nice touch.

Tourtiere Pie, in all its variations - with or without cheese - is a delicious meat pie.
Really. It’s great!

About the sky this week, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac…

March 8 - Look to see the waxing gibbous Moon just 4 degrees from the Beehive Cluster (M44), also called Praesepe, the Manger.

March 10 - Although the waxing gibbous Moon will be bright, see if you can spot the star Regulus a mere 3 degrees from it. Regulus is one of the brightest stars in our sky, and is part of the constellation Leo, the Lion.

March 12 - The Full Worm Moon at 10:54 a.m. Watch this short Farmers’ Almanac video to see how this Moon got its many names.


  1. This sounds delicious. You can't beat a home made pie with home made dough just delicious :)

  2. Hi, Michelle,
    Thanks for visiting! Tourtière Pie is a traditional French Canadian recipe, and, as with many traditional recipes, has many variations. Hope you've found a new favourite recipe :)


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