Monthly Archives: March 2014
Mémé’s Good Times Tourtiere
Meat Pies, (or tourtiere) are a traditional French Canadian dish, a treat that was served in our family on Christmas Eve and other special occasion. There is nothing better than a family recipe that has been handed down, and this one takes a little time, but is worth the effort, and you can even make it vegetarian! This is my version as I have substituted the local ground turkey for the beef and pork, but if you eat red meat, you may use it here; there are many options for locally raised, sustainable meats.
This makes two bountiful pies, and they freeze well.
One large luscious onion, diced
1 tbsp. duck fat or olive oil
2 pounds Vermont ground turkey
1 pound fresh Vermont pork sausage, broken up
1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dried sage, or 1 tbsp. fresh, minced
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. hot Hungarian paprika (my addition!)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large bay leaf
Chicken stock or water to almost cover, about two cups (homemade is best!)
One sleeve crackers smashed into crumbs
1 cup local, organic diced potatoes, precooked but still a bit firm
2 Double butter crust pastry recipes
Sautee the onion in the fat in a large pan. Add the turkey burger, sausage, spices, and enough stock to just cover with bits poking their heads up. You can also use just plain water here, that’s what my grandmother used. Bring to boil, cover, reduce, and slow cook on low heat, covered, about an hour, stirring now and then. The house will smell like Christmas Eve!
Remove the lid, stir, and remove some of the fat and liquid that has accumulated. Add crackers and potatoes. Stir well, and spoon back a little of the liquid if need be. The mixture should be very soft and moist, but with no visible pools of liquid.
Pour into two prepared bottom crusts and make smooth. Add the top crusts, and always a little pastry decoration. This is, after all, holiday food, so it should look as pretty as it tastes. I like to decorate with little leaves made from the pastry trimmings. Brush all with an egg wash made of an exquisite organic egg and a little cold water.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 to 50 minutes. It should be golden brown! Check when the house starts to smell really good.
Let set at least 20 minutes before cutting. Traditionally, this was served with a brown gravy, but I like it much better with a wild foraged hen-of-the woods mushroom gravy on the side.
I’ve also made this with the Gimme Me Lean Soy Sausage in place of the meat, and I’ve made it with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix pie crust. It will works!
Other tempting and popular recipes
from Readmore Bed & Breakfast Inn:
*Please click on the title or the photo for the complete recipe.
Vermont Country Store Rockingham
The Vermont Country Store in Rockingham is just a few minutes from Readmore, and is famous for not only the unique selection of “general store” items, but for the nostalgia they carry as well. The old floors still creek, the scent of apothecary fills the air, and even in the winter, the light that filters in through the windows highlights many a long-forgotten item.
Yes, as you cruise the aisles of the Vermont Country Store, you’ll find and sample a lovely selection of our famous Vermont cheese, many made right in the Rockingham area from sharp Cheddar to soft bries, and to serve alongside, there are chutneys, mustards, and flavorful dips. There’s Coke in a bottle, Ovaltine, dried beans, wax lips, old-fashioned sour pickles in a barrel, candy by the piece and black licorice whips, homemade fudge, blackberry jam and apple cider jellies, ladies cotton nightgowns, flannel shirts, and rose-scented bath salts. There’s pepper crackers and corn relish, hard-to-find cleaning products, feathered hats, hand-knit sweaters, books, striped linen dish towels, bird-feeding supplies, bag balm and duct tape (don’t forget the various salves, potions, and lotions your grandmother used, still offered in the same tins)! Just to ensure you are on the right track, there are testers of everything so you can douse yourself in the same Evening in Paris perfume you bought your mother for Christmas when you were seven.
Are you looking for a gift for a child? The Vermont Country Store carries a great selection of both hand-made toys and (new) vintage toys you forgot you loved, such as Mr. Potato Head or Operation. A loaded checkerboard invites shoppers to stop for a few minutes for a quick game, while the kids delight in trying out the new finds (from their parents’ childhood) and looking at the assortment of board games that don’t even require a battery!
Another really popular feature of the Vermont Country Store is the sales room on the second floor where many a bargain is to be found, and the famous summer-long tent sales on the front lawn of the Rockingham store, rain or shine, right through the Autumn foliage season. Where else can you find a Princess telephone or typewriter that uses an inked ribbon?