Growing up, this French-Canadian classic was served through the holiday season at my family dinners. When I became vegetarian, my grandmother’s growing concern for my nutrition was tiring – “what is she going to eat?”… This is when I turned to the internet. I already enjoyed tempeh throughout the year and I knew I could crumble into what behaved like ground meat in my taco recipes. I found a starter recipe to inspire myself then and I have tweaked it over the last 5 years. To my grandmother’s delight, I now eat a side of turkey with my vegetarian dishes.
I made this version without measurements so the quantities listed are approximate recommendations. Like any good chef, I inspire myself from whatever might be in my pantry. I had cultivated and dried my garden fresh rosemary and thyme back in September before leaving for my grand India adventure. It seemed tasty to include it. My previous versions of this dish required potatoes. I had eaten all my potatoes already (tasty baked wedges) so I replaced the potato for sweet potato and prefer the flavour. While I was at it, I added yellow carrots to complete the rainbow. I am deliciously grateful for the array of veggies delivered right to my door. I love my weekly Bryson Farm vegetable delivery.
Preparation time: 90 minutes (give or take depending if you make your own crust)
- 1 package of tempeh (thawed, boiled, and crumbled)
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ribs of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp. thyme, dried
- 1 tbsp. rosemary, dried crumbled
- 1 tbsp. savoury, ground
- ¼ tsp. clove, ground
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup of vegetable broth (or water)
First, prepare your tempeh. Bring a pot of water to a boil, at the tempeh and let simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. While the tempeh is cooking and cooling, dice your veggies.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook the onions until almost translucent then add the garlic, stirring regularly to prevent the garlic from burning. After approximately 5 minutes, add the celery, carrots, and sweet potato. Add the vegetable broth (I use water when I don’t have homemade broth ready) and herbs and spices (quantities are mere suggestions, therefore taste and adjust to your preference). Simmer until the veggies are soft (approx. 30 minutes).
While the filling is simmering, you can prepare a homemade pie crust or you may prefer to use your favourite premade pie crust. I’m partial to chef Michael Smith’s pie crust recipe made with frozen butter. For vegans, I have made his recipe with earth balance vegan shortening with success.
Once the veggies are soft let the filling cool slightly. Take the bay leaves out. by Drain the excess fluid from the filling. Assemble your pie. You can freeze the tourtière as is (make sure the filling is thoroughly cooled if you will be freezing) or set to bake.
Bake in preheated oven at 400° for 30-40 minutes, until pie crust is golden brown.