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Piquant Pies
March 11, 2019

Piquant Pies

Yes, we all love a slice of pie for dessert.  Berry, meringue, pumpkin, the list of sweet goodness goes on and on.  But many countries enjoy savory pies for lunch or dinner.  Whether they are called meat pies in Jamaica, Empanadas in virtually all of South America, pasties in England and here in North America, and let us not leave out our favorite of all, the French Canadian Tourtiere. These flavorful creations can all be made at home!

Chutneys, ketchup, mustards, and hot sauces all go great with these pies (or mini pies).  Blending up a regional sauce found on the internet to go with that dough-filled delight of your choice is half the fun!  Whether you choose a Peruvian empanada with an aji verde sauce to make, or a pasty recipe from the UP in Michigan, the Vitamix Explorian E310 2H.P. with a 48 Ounce Container can create a perfect sauce, stuffing, and dough!  This beast of a blender makes beautiful sauces.  But, a great recipe to start these delectable pies, turnovers, or whatever name you use for these meat-filled pleasures, is Vitamix’s own thin crust pizza dough recipe.  The Explorian is at an ALL TIME LOW PRICE of UNDER $400 NOW!!

Other countries are awesome.  But, let’s talk about the real deal of meat pies: The French Canadian Tourtiere.  This delicious dish is over 400 years old.  And it is so Canadian!  Back in the day, passenger pigeons were an ingredient, now, pork, veal, and/or beef are the mainstays.  And who else but Williams Food Equipment has everything to concoct a terrific tourtiere.

Being over 400 years old, recipes abound the web.  No matter which recipe from family, friends, or the internet you choose, sauté pans, food processors, and pie pans can, and will, come in handy!  Starting with browning your protein of choice, we recommend the All-Clad 3 QT d5 Polished Saute Pan with Lid.  Deeper than a frying pan allows you to simmer all your ingredients before assembling the pie.

Another awesome way to create a perfect pie dough is using a food processor.  The Breville Sous Chef Food Processor will also aid in chopping any and all veggies needed for your incredible tourtiere.  Kneading dough in this Breville, along with slicing onions, garlic, or whatever else is easy and quick! Now at $489.99, down from $599.99!

Creating the professional look is achieved by the Gontara 12.5” Deep Tart/Quiche Pan with Removable Bottom.  Ever wonder why the bakery has such pretty stuff?  They use quality products that last.  Purchasing the Gontara at less than $35 allows you to the same elegant looks that the high-end bakeries have in their windows.

The recipe we selected is from Anna Olson and her “Bake With Anna Olson” blog.  There are so many options to choose from over the years.  Please try and find an elderly person who knows the history and recipes of Canadian Tourtiere, and have fun cooking and dining with them!

French Canadian Tourtiere


  • 1 ½ lb(s) ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • Dash of Worschestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 recipe Savoury Pie Dough
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 Tbsp water for brushing


  1. In a large sauté pan or skillet, sauté the beef over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat, add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, celery salt, pepper, allspice and Worcestershire and sauté until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Use a box grater to grate the potato over the sauté pan and stir it in. Let mixture simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove the bay leaves and add salt to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature. This can be prepared a day in advance and chilled.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of the pie dough to just less than ¼-inch thickness and line a 9-inch pie plate. Fill this with the cooled tourtière filling. Roll out the remaining dough to the same thickness, cut a hole in the center (for steam to escape) and place on top of the filling. Trim and then pinch the edges of the crust together and brush with the egg wash. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is a rich golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing to serve.
  4. The tourtière can be made up to 2 days in advance and reheated in a 325 °F (160 °C) oven.

These are a few examples of hand-held, and savory styled pies.  The world has so many variations of these pockets of foodie-fun!  Try as many countries as you can.

Enjoy your delicious moments!