View Full Version : Pork Pie

12-19-2009, 08:16 PM
All right, I'll ask... what is a pork pie? :cheesysmile:

OK... some call it tourtiere meat pie ... It's a French meat pie.
Krom's mom was making this in Tignish on Prince Edward Island, Canada, when she was a kid and she passed away about 12 years ago in her late 70s. So, what I've done here is based on a recipe over 100 years old.

Mom never had a recipe so she could never give me the recipe. I was never able to make it with her, so over the years I've tried to duplicate what she described, working off different recipes off the net. Last year I came closest. I might have it this year. We'll know in a while. Her's was always the BEST! You can buy premade pork pie in the stores all around here, but it's not the same.

Lots of people use half ground hamburg and half ground pork. I did that last year (altered some) and it was real close.
I know she always told me a pork butt, salt pork and onion .. you can never have enough onion. I asked her how she did that if Joe didn't like onion. She told me like this and held her thumbnail to the edge of her pinkie nail. Ahh... I got it.

So... here's what I did this year... I was working and Joe was going to the store so I asked him to pick up a 4 pound pork butt, about 4 large white onions and some Bell's seasoning mix (I had the other spices). When I got home I found a 6+ pound pork butt he had the butcher cut for him (the butcher at the local Hannaford is French). I told Joe to get about 8 large white onions. He did.

So.. I jumped on it tonight when I got home from work... took me 2 hours to prep....

I took the roast and cut it all into chunks about half the size of my last knuckle on my pinkie finger.
Joe doesn't like onions so I use a cheese grater and grate them so all the juice from the onion is retained.
Melted a little butter in the bottom of this large pan to get things started and as I grated the onions I dumped them (and their juice) in the pan. The onions are critical.
I cut up all the salt pork into chunks, tossed that in the pan. Added 4 cups of water.

THEN.... I have no measurements... but a couple sprinkles of cinnamon... not a lot, just a teeny bit.... all of this required only a couple sprinkles of cinnamon. I sprinkled in a couple palmfulls of Summer Savory. And I dumped about half the box of Bell's Seasoning in there.... remember... this is with 6 pounds of pork butt and 8 large white onions.

This will render and boil for hours... I'll adjust the seasonings after a couple of hours....
It should be salty, but not offensive.

Keep in mind, as this cooks, the onions are powerful. If you want the texture of onion in the pie, then just chop very fine. If you want the flavor without the texture, grate.... so.... after a half hour of boiling, it's starting to actually smell like the pie should taste. I won't taste test it for another couple of hours, until the pork and spices all have a chance to meld.

I hope this one comes out good. Last year I was close with the 3/4 ground pork and 1/4 hamburg (I had adjusted it then). This chunks of pork butt has me nervous. My hands are cramped... I hope I got the chunks small enough.

We'll see... I'll keep you posted.... Meanwhile, here's what I started with (the salt shaker is to adjust the salt taste after):

12-19-2009, 09:42 PM
MMMMMMM love those...the bar I used to shoot darts out of in Mass was owned by a Scottish lady and every Friday for lunch she had homemade pork pies..they were DELICIOUS!!! thumbsup01

12-19-2009, 09:49 PM
This one's coming together... the juice is still oniony, but coming together...
Gotta let it boil down some more and thicken up.
You'd think these things would be easier!

12-19-2009, 10:16 PM
Great recipe and photos.. I love to cook! :)

Let us know how it turns out. Sounds great! :)

(Question: If Joe hates onion, he must just hate the texture?)

12-19-2009, 10:30 PM
Yeah, he hates biting into an onion, even if it is translucent and cooked to no end.
But the onion flavor is critical to the dish. The white onion gives off a sweeter taste when it's cooked.
But it can't be fried to a brown... it becomes bitter.

The flavor of this one isn't coming out the way I want.
It's still good, but while it's stewing I can alter its taste...

I pulled out some of the salt pork. A little less onion might have been good....

Its flavor will change a bit when baked in a pie, and after it's chilled.

But we eat this dish chilled, so it tastes different when chilled.

I tossed in another dash of cinnamon and a little more savory to compensate for the onion.
I'm thinking a pound or even up to 2 pounds of ground pork added to this might have been good.
Prolly a little less water to start with would have been better as well, but I'll just have to render it down a little more.
The pork is all cooked, the flavors are melding and the cover is off to render it down to a thick consistency.

Regardless, it's still tastey and will be good in a pie. I've made worse that were eaten within a day.
So... so far, this isn't too bad... just trying to get it most like mom's... it needs a little more Bell's Seasoning right now...

12-19-2009, 11:38 PM
It didn't turn out like I wanted.
Still tastey and edible... just not the combo of flavors I was looking for.
The ingredients tonight made 4 pies.

I'll be making more next weekend with an altered recipe.
Again... the one here still tastes really good!
Just not what I was looking for in my own taste buds. It certainly won't go to waste, here.

All the meat is in pie shells and in the oven. We'll finish the baking and let them cool a bit before popping them in the fridge before bed.

12-20-2009, 08:36 AM
mmmmmmmmm meat pies :drool: those are great Snowy haven't had one is sometime now , now you went an done it , i'm hungry :beatdown:

12-20-2009, 01:13 PM
The recipe above is good, but I'd use this one instead ~

After hyears of search, an older friend of mine happened to come across a recipe her mother gave her that came from her grandmother. I'm trying this batch, and I can tell by the juices it's pretty darn close to what I want (since there were no potatoes in mom's, I cut 2 small potatoes into fine pieces so they'd be mush when it's done simmering... it'll help hold the meat together that way... and I doubled up on the pork and used a 2 pound center cut pork roast):

1 pound pork - chopped in small pieces.
2 potatoes + 6 ground crackers
1 onion, chopped fine
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2-3 dashes of cloves

Simmer 2 hours

Add 1 tsp sage

put in pie shell.
Bake at 350 until brown.

12-20-2009, 01:17 PM
I looked on allrecipes and there are a zillion different variations on the recipe. I'll have to try this :)

12-20-2009, 01:25 PM
Most of the recipes I've seen have ground pork and/or ground beef included. I would think you would need to cut up the pork very small so that it would hold together.

Wish I could smell it lol

I love to cook and love trying new things. I was going to do the traditional turkey/dressing, mashed potatoes, etc etc for Christmas eve dinner, but my oldest son requested that I make my egg/sausage casserole instead. I told him that he would probably get that Christmas morning at his dad's, since his grandmother will be there and that's what she makes, but he said I like yours better. ;) rofl

12-20-2009, 01:32 PM
Aww... what a sweet kid!

Yup. You have to cut the pork up small... from the last knuckle on my pinkie finger to the end ~ half that size.

The ground pork and hamburg ones are good, just as my original rendition above is good, but this latest one I just posted is the best, in my opinion. The recipe my friend gave me has been handed down from the 1800s. (I omitted the crackers in this batch because I don't have any Saltines on hand.)

12-21-2009, 08:15 PM
That really sounds great. I do have a question though. How do you clean drool from under the keys on the keyboard. lol Patti and I WILL try this one for sure as we both love pork. thumbsup01

01-01-2010, 05:14 PM
I grew up never hearing the words, pork pie.
All my life, we (my family) called it Poté (pronounced potay).

01-02-2010, 01:58 PM
My first wife's Grandmother (French, in Maine) use to make pork pies. Yummy. I loved them... with mustard. Now I need to try to make one, had forgotten how great they are. RickO

leslie(nova scotia)
01-10-2010, 09:46 AM
From the land of the Bluenose......some folks call that Rabbit pie even though......there is no rabbit in it. Must be a French Canuck thing!

01-10-2010, 11:19 AM
From the land of the Bluenose......some folks call that Rabbit pie even though......there is no rabbit in it. Must be a French Canuck thing!

I remember my father-in-law saying he used some rabbit meat with the pork in his. I never tried his. lol

01-12-2010, 06:32 PM
That, he did, luv... and his was always made in a huge brownie pan.
It was almost as good as Mom's... but never quite as good for my taste.
Every Christmas morning there musta been 15 pies on plates throughout the house.
I miss that more than anything. :(