Double Duck Tourtiere – Double Delicious
Never let it be said that we don’t share some of our most decadent recipes. The Double Duck Tourtiere is one of those happy accidents that emerged from an over-abundance of duck confit and a few too many smoked duck breasts in the kitchen. The question of ‘what do we do with all this duck?’ was quickly answered when we realized it was tourtiere season; enter Double Duck Tourtiere.
Past clients went mad for this combination; smokey, rich meat coupled with an equal measure of potato, plus dried cranberries and smoked cheddar cheese. This is not a light meal – at all. This is a stick-to-your-ribs before sliding down to your ass kind of meal. Consume with salad. Be sure to drink wine, as this may aid digestion (somewhat), and ready the fat pants.
Tourtiere, if you are not familiar with it, is a traditional French Canadian dish served during the holidays. The most traditional version is pork and beef, or perhaps pork and veal. It’s a spiced meat mix utilizing the warm spices of winter; cinnamon, cloves, often nutmeg, then baked in a short crust. Since it’s humble beginnings it’s taken on a life of it’s own reinvented over and over in new and interesting flavour combinations. I often work alongside the chef in my life and together we’ve created an amazing lamb version, and this interesting take – The Double Duck.
The Double Duck Tourtiere is a meat pie that could last for days. I believe we are on the third meal of this particular pie. Fortunately, it freezes beautifully (in it’s entirety or partial chunks), to be re-thermalized later. (Ten extra points for using re-thermalized in a sentence!)
We’ve linked our recipe for pie crust (pate brisee), if you’re in the mood to make it from scratch. But there’s no shame in using store bought frozen pie shells for convenience and ease.
Living in Quebec, we have easy access commercially cooked duck confit at the local grocery store. Depending on your location you may need to do a bit of food recognizance on that. Best recommendation: try a gourmet food shop that leans French or carries high-end charcuterie. Alternately, you could confit the duck yourself… because that’s always fun! We haven’t published a recipe for duck confit (yet), it’s not an overly complicated method but it takes some time and a whole lot of duck fat. If you’re willing, here’s a link to Martha Stewart’s recipe, it’s easy to follow while still holding true to the French method. Now you have plans for the inevitable leftovers!
- 1 large onion
- 2 – 4 large potatoes
- 3 legs of duck confit
- 1 duck breast, smoked
- ¼ cup light cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup dried cranberries (optional)
- ¾ cup of smoked cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons light cooking cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 deep dish pie crusts, or a double recipe of Pate Brisee
- Make and chill pate brisee as directed. When properly rested roll on a lightly floured surface bottom pie shell in a 9", deep pie plate and chill.
- Peel and cube potatoes then cook until just soft. At the last stage of cooking heat cream and butter until butter is melted and cream is hot then reserve warm. Drain potatoes, coarse mash, with a fork or whisk and add hot cream/butter, but not too much, you want the potatoes quite dry. Once mixed, season to taste and reserve at room temperature.
- While potatoes cook, chop onion and sweat with a little oil until transparent and reserve.
- As potatoes and onions cool, strip away meat from the bones of the duck confit legs and chop lightly. Also chop (or cube) smoke duck. Combine both kinds of duck meat in a bowl. Measure (or weigh) duck meat and then measure in the exact same amount of potatoes. Add onions and cranberries (if using) as well as cheese and spices, mix well and season to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover a 10 inch pie plate with non-stick spray or coat well with butter. Fork whisk egg and 2 teaspoons of cream together in a small bowl. Add double duck filling to pastry lined pie plate, pressing it out gently to fill the edges, but still mounding, just slightly in the middle. Roll out top crust, before moving into place, brush the edge of your bottom crust with egg wash. Now place top crust and crimp the edges with the pads of your thumbs to seal. Cut a vent hole with a small sharp knife or a cookie cutter. Egg wash entire surface.
- Bake at 350°F (175°C) for and hour to an hour and 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pie and your oven.
- When golden brown and hot throughout, remove tourtiere from oven and rest for ten to fifteen minutes before cutting a serving.