I have to laugh at this photo. Mr. L says it looks like it's about to eat you. No, we were about to eat it.
A tourtiere is a type of meat pie popular in Quebec. This was another Canadian recipe that I looked for when I bought the A Taste of Canada cookbook and I wasn't disappointed. The Tourtiere Turnovers recipe was pretty straightforward and simple to make though it was a bit labor intensive. We ate these while watching Bode Miller get his gold. Yes, we ate them as dinner though they were meant as appetizers.
The taste was pretty good, but I honesty felt they were pretty plain. The recipe suggested serving these appetizers with a green tomato relish or fruity chili sauce. All that I had on hand was something called "Bronco Bob's Tangy Apricot Chipotle Sauce". Completely made the dish. It was a great dipping sauce for the meat turnovers and I'm excited to have a half a bottle left to put it on something else!
I did have problems with the puff pastry but it was user error. I need to use it more to get a better feel on how to work with the stuff. Rolling it out into an even triangle? Yeah right. Cut in even squares? Er, not so much. I had some wonderful looking puff triangles and some not so great looking...footballs. Or maybe they were in the shapes of the the Empire State Building. Okay, more like lumps. But at least with the chili sauce they tasted good no matter how they looked.TOURTIERE TURNOVERS
1 potato, peeled and quartered
1 lb lean ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, with leaves, cut in 3
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried savory
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
2 pkg (14 oz) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
In a medium saucepan, cook the potato in boiling salted water until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, mash and set aside.
Bring 1/2 cup of the potato water to a boil. Add the pork, onion, celery, garlic, savory, thyme, cinnamon and cloves, breaking the pork up with a spoon. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pork is no longer pink and the liquid has reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Remove and discard the celery pieces. Stir in the potato, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and more of the other seasoning if desired. Let cool in the refrigerator.
Working with a quarter of the pastry (half of one package) at a time, roll out each quarter into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 12 even squares. Brush each with egg. (Reserve any remaining egg in the refrigerator.) Place a heaping teaspoon of the pork mixture in the center of each square, making sure none gets on the edges. (Mounding it into a bit of a ball with your fingers helps.) Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling and form a triangle. Seal the edges by pressing all around with the floured tines of a fork. (Turnovers can be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated, covered, overnight. Or, freeze for up to 2 months sealed in freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.)
When ready to serve, arrange the turnovers on a baking sheet; brush with the reserved egg. Bake in the center of a 400 degree F oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 48 turnovers.
Note: I made a full batch of the filling but only used one package of the puff pastry. I'm thinking of using the second half of the filling as some kind of layered dish with phyllo dough.
Note: After 45 minutes there was actually even more liquid in the bottom of the pot than the 1/2 cup of potato liquid that I originally added. I ended up taking a spoon and removing most of it.
Note: The leaves of the celery broke up and I had to fish them out by hand. Not a fun thing to do.
Note: I got tired of making little triangles so at one point I just made two really big puff pastry triangles and filled them with the meat mixture. I think that worked just as well as making little appetizers.