Nick deWitt of Night Canopy’s Mom’s Tourtière

"This dish has become a favorite in the deWitt household over the years, and if you have the guts to make it yourself, you'll understand why," warns Nick deWitt in his recipe for tourtière—a traditional French-Canadian meat pie. Any recipe that requires "guts" to make has either got to be really difficult or Fear Factor–worthy, and knowing Nick, it could go either way. But seeing as there were no live roaches or night crawlers in the ingredients list, I figured that turning out a perfect tourtière must just not be easy as, er, pie. Ingredients:2 teaspoons butter 1/2 an onion, chopped 1 pound lean ground beef [Though pork,veal, or beef can be used, in the deWitt House, the consensus is that ground beef "brings the most delicious results."]1 1/2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt (add to taste) 1 teaspoon pepper 1 cube beef bouillon 3 cups boiling water 1 cup cubed raw potatoes 1/2 cup carrots, chopped 1 handful chopped parsley Your favorite pie crust Preparation: 1. Melt the butter on medium heat in a large pot. 2. Sauté the onion for a couple of minutes and then add the ground beef. Cook beef until browned, stirring as necessary. 3. Sprinkle in the flour, seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix well. 4. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the boiling water and add gradually to the mixture. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens. 5. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook on low heat until veggies are tender. 6. Remove from heat. Let it cool a bit before adding a handful of chopped parsley. 7. Set in the refrigerator until cold. 8. At this point, you can taste and add more seasoning if you like. Lawry's is the key here. 9. Pour the mixture into an uncooked pie shell. 10. Cover with a top layer of uncooked pastry dough, crimping the edges and making air holes on the top crust with a knife. 11. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Everything went along swimmingly—onions, beef, and bouillon, except my mixture never really thickened. I chalked it up to not having a mother's touch and added the veggies anyway. After they were nice and tender, waiting for the savory mixture to cool off was the most excruciating part. I had to watch nearly all of Harold and Maude before the pot was chilled enough for me to pour the beefy contents into the patiently awaiting pie crust. The result, like the movie, was worth staying up late for: a bubbling Irish-stew-style mixture housed in a flaky, golden shell. Are you a musician? Do you have a favorite recipe? If so, send it to If we like it, we might just print it.

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