Christmas, more than any other holiday, seems to stir memories with its scents. The smell of briny seawater in the kitchen brings pictures of my grandfather shucking oysters on Christmas Eve. The scent of browning flour and chopped onions remind me of the production line of making meatballs for the ragoût. Then there’s the chocolate of the bûche, the honeyed syrup of the St. Honoré, and the incense of midnight mass that all remind me of my grandmother. She would lay out massive tables for all the invited guests to feast after midnight mass. Here’s my take on the traditional tourtière.
- 1 ¼ pounds of lean ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 small or 1 large Yukon Gold potatoes cubed
- pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie
- Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm half the olive oil, then add the turkey, breaking up the meat, until the meat is no longer pink. Remove from pan.
- In the same pan, add the last of the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and potatoes until the onions are soft (the potatoes will continue to bake in the oven). Add the meat back to the mixture and blend.
- Line the pie pan with half the pastry, fill with the meat filling, then top with the remaining crust, crimping the edges together. With a sharp knife, add a couple of vent holes.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, until the crust is brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.