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Adjust Servings:
pie crust your favorite recipe, or no shame in using the frozen variety such as Pillsbury; crust should be uncooked
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 large yellow onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
5 peppercorns
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder boneless, cut into 2" pieces
Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp butter
8 medium button mushrooms stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup white wine
20 oz Ground Beef
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup Potatoes grated

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Canada: Tourtière

French Canadian Meat Pie





You can imagine how excited I was when our Diversity & Inclusion Committee circulated an invitation for a potluck to learn more about the culture and traditions of our coworkers.  You know how some people are visual learners, while others learn by reading or doing?  Food is my learning style.

As the potluck approached, I got to thinking… so what am I going to bring?!  My family ate a whole lot of pancakes for dinner growing up, and while blueberries and maple syrup are certainly representative of my New England heritage, I wanted to bring something that could also get me one step closer to my goal of cooking a recipe from all 195 countries this year.

As “LaFontaine” may denote, my mom’s paternal grandparents’ family were French Canadians who came to the United States from Quebec beginning in the late 19th century, settling in New England.  Since we didn’t eat French Canadian cuisine growing up, I decided to do a little bit of research on traditional dishes.  I quickly discovered tourtière, a French Canadian meat pie from Quebec, which immigrants – likely including some of my relatives – brought to New England in the late 19th century. The recipe I used called for pork butt and ground beef as filling, but traditionally this likely also included wild game.

This was such a fun way to learn about my coworkers’ traditions and favorite comfort foods, and even a little more about my own family’s history!

Amazing spread from the Diversity & Inclusion Committee potluck, a great opportunity to learn more about the food culture and traditions of colleagues and eat a delicious lunch!  Pictured: beet borscht, matzo ball soup, spanakopita, corned beef and potatoes, soba noodle salad, lentil salad, Southwest salad, guacamole, croquetas and tourtiere. Not pictured, dessert: pastelitos, black and white cookies and custard.

Recipe Source: Epicurious



Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine broth, 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, whole peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaves in a dutch oven. Add pork shoulder chunks; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover pot and transfer to oven; braise until pork shoulder is tender and shreds easily, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool.


Once cool, shred meat with your fingers and transfer to a medium bowl. Strain pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve; add 1/2 cup juices to pork; discard solids in strainer.


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 chopped onion and 3 chopped garlic cloves; cook, stirring often, until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until almost all liquid is evaporated, 5 minutes. Add wine; stir, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring often, until liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.


Add ground beef, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add grated potato. Cook until potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded pork with juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until cold.


Fill the bottom crust with cooled meat filling. It can go a bit higher than the edges of the crust. Top with the top crust and cut 3-5 2" slits in top crust using a sharp knife. Do what you need to to make the top crust look pretty.


Place pie on a baking sheet (so no juices overflow) and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 40-50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


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