Tourte de viande


Pot-au-feu one day, tourte de viande (meat pie) the next -"waste not, want not" could be the motto of French Wine Harvest cooks. Using left-overs creatively leads to delicious dishes.

This may sound like a lot of work but I promise it will be worth it!

FOR 4 PEOPLE FOR THE SHORTCRUST PASTRY: 250 g (8 oz) plain flour 1 pinch of salt 125 g (4 oz) butter at room temperature

small glass of cold water 1 egg yolk to glaze

FOR THE FILLING:

125g (4 oz) green streaky bacon in a piece

30 g (1 oz) butter 1 medium to large onion 125 g (4 oz) sausagemeat

250 g (8 oz) boiled beef (or other left-overs)

a handful of fresh parsley salt and black pepper

FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:

30 g (1 oz) butter 30 g (1 oz) plain flour

salt and pepper 250 ml (8 fl oz) milk

nutmeg, optional

To make the pastry, mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add a little cold water to make a supple dough. Form into a ball and leave in the bowl with a cloth over it to rest for an hour.

To make the filling, remove the rind from the piece of bacon. Cut the bacon in dice to make lardons. Put the butter into a large frying pan and let the bacon cook gently, melting the fat. With a slotted spoon remove the lardons and keep on one side. Peel and chop the onion. Fry it in the bacon fat and butter until it is golden, then add the sausage-meat. Mince, or if you prefer chop, the left-over meat. Add the lardons. Finely chop the parsley. Add these three ingredients to the frying pan. Mix together and stir as the mixture browns. Season with salt and pepper.

For the thick Béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour, stirring to incorporate it. Gradually add the milk, stirring and letting the mixture thicken as you go. Season with salt and pepper. (Some might like a little grated nutmeg.)

Take the mixture of meats off the heat and mix with the Béchamel.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F, 180°C.

Roll out the pastry, keeping back a third of it for the lid. Butter a 20 cm (8 in) pie plate or tart tin. Line it with the pastry, pressing it into the sides and letting it overlap the edges a little. Prick the bottom with a fork. Let it ‘seize’ in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes.

Fill the pie with the prepared mixture of meats and sauce. Have the pastry lid ready rolled out and cut to size. Cut out a small circle in the centre. Wet the edges of the pastry in the tin. Place the lid on top, and pinch the pastry edges together.

Roll up a small piece of greaseproof paper to form a chimney and insert into the hole in the middle (this stops the underside of the pastry getting soggy from steam). If you feel artistic, cut shapes in any left-over pastry and stick

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden.