Montreal’s epic winters produce the dishes of lumberjacks and fur traders, and nothing encapsulates this better than Martin Picard’s tourtière, or meat pie. “I add big chunks of pig, more fat, and butter in the dough,” says Picard, the chef-owner of Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon. His secret: pig’s knuckle. “It’s the key to getting a robust pork flavor.”
• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 1 lb ground pork
• a few cloves, ground
• a pinch of cinnamon
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 pig’s knuckle, braised and boned (ask your butcher for fresh uncured ham hock)
• 1 small potato, grated
• all-butter short-crust pie dough
• 1 cup pork shank meat, braised
• 1 egg yolk
In large pot, sweat the onions and garlic in butter. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until the water given off by the vegetables evaporates completely. Add white wine; let it reduce completely. Add ground pork and spices to pot; cook for 5 minutes, stirring to separate chunks of meat. Add knuckle meat and grated potato. Cook for approximately 10 more minutes. Taste for seasoning and let cool.
Roll out pie dough and line a pie plate with half; fill with ground-meat mixture and top with shredded pork-shank meat. Cover with other half of the piecrust; brush with egg yolk. Poke a few holes in the top crust and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes.
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