The Week Ahead and a Tourtiere with a Twist!

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The last week was wonderful and with today’s most excellent weather, this week is starting out the same.  Yesterday some of my GR m/m fiction group came over for drinks, book recs and conversation.  We had a great time and the weather was perfect.  Of course, one topic of conversation was the “best book” for each of us lately.  My book of choice was Scrap Metal by Harper Fox and my review will be posted here this week.  Also  right there with it was Burning Bright by Megan Derr.  I am so in love with this series and can’t wait for the next one. You all are going to love this book!

First, the reviews for this week:

Monday:                           Burning Bright (Lost Gods#2) by Megan Derr,  the 2nd book in a  stunning  fantasy series!

Tuesday:                           Sebastian’s Wolves by Valentina Heart

Wednesday:                     Hope by William Neale (his last book, published after his death)

Thursday:                         Time Gone By by Jan Suzukawa

Friday:                               I’m Not Sexy And I Know It by Vic Winter

Saturday:                          Scrap Metal by Harper Fox

My favorite dish of the last week was a first time recipe for me.  And it wowed me.  I will use this one often.  A tourtiere is basically a meat pastry or pie that originated in Quebec and is traditionally eaten around Christmas time.  But the one I am using is light enough and baked in a loaf form that can be eaten any time of the year.  The meat filling is usually pork with other meat added to it.  Here I am using ground round but in Canada, wild game such as rabbit or venison would have been used as well.  Absolutely not greasy in any way, the savory flavors and buttery taste of the pastry come together to melt in your mouth and make you smile with delight!

Ingredients for Tourtiere with a Twist:

PASTRY DOUGH:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups cold butter, grated or chopped into small bits
2 eggs, lightly beaten
MEAT FILLING:
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons summer savory, more to taste (Summer Savory spice is easily found in any grocery store)
Pinch ground cloves, optional (really add it, if you just have whole cloves, take 2 and smash them, works great)
4 to 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs (start with 4 and add until it is to your liking – I added all 6)
3 tablespoons milk, for brushing

Directions:

For the pastry dough: Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the grated butter. Pinch quickly to combine with the fingers to create a coarse, crumbly mixture. Make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon ice-cold water. Quickly mix into the flour, just until the mixture holds together. Do not over mix. Divide into 2 balls and flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.

For the meat filling: Put 1/2 cup water in a saute pan and quickly bring to a boil. Combine the ground pork, ground veal, onion, garlic, some salt and pepper and summer savory together in a bowl. Stir into the water. Cover, and cook until the meat is done, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the breadcrumbs and continue cooking uncovered until the liquid has evaporated. Check the seasonings, and cool.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Roll a disk of pastry dough into a rectangle. Spoon a generous stripe of meat filling down the middle of it. Fold the short ends, up over the meat making sure to trim any excess pastry dough, otherwise it will be too thick. Then fold over the long ends so that they overlap to seal. Again, trim any excess pastry dough so it will bake evenly. Turn the log onto a baking sheet, seam-side down. Make a few slits in the top to let steam escape. Brush the top with milk for a golden crust. Bake until crisp and nicely colored, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you have some left over, it tastes just as great the next day, perhaps even better!  You can’t go wrong here.  You will make this again and  again.

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