Chef Tom, The Tourtière, and the Sonically Silky Bruno from Mars

For my neighbors to the North. Here’s something you might all be familiar with, but it’s a helluva idea for leftovers. Good on its own, too, of course. This is from one of my favorite food authors, Sam Sifton, from the New York Times. The recipe is an undertaking, but so worth the time. Pay attention to what Chef McMillan says below.



By Sam Sifton

Sam writes:

This savory French-Canadian meat pie combines ground pork and warm spices with chunks of braised pork shoulder and shreds of chicken or turkey. But you could make it with leftover brisket, with venison, with smoked goose or ham.

Traditionally it is served with relish or tart, fruity ketchup — I like this recipe for cranberry ketchup best, though I use a splash of fresh orange juice instead of the concentrate it calls for. “I’ve never had a slice of tourtière and spoonful of ketchup and not liked it,” David McMillan, the bearish chef and an owner of Joe Beef in the Little Burgundy section of Montreal, told me. “I especially love a tourtière made by someone who can’t really cook.”



2 1/2 cups or 300 grams all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

4 tablespoons leaf lard, cold and cut into cubes

 3-4 tablespoons ice water, as needed


1 1/2-2 pounds pork-shoulder meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola

5 allspice berries

2 cinnamon sticks

1 12-ounce bottle stout or other dark beer

4 large chicken thighs, or 1 large turkey thigh

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped

10 to 12 ounces cremini mushrooms or a mixture of wild mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine or stock

1 pound ground pork

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground clove

 Pinch of ground nutmeg

 Pinch of cayenne pepper or to taste

2 medium-size potatoes, like Yukon Gold, grated

1 large egg yolk, beaten with a tablespoon of water

Make the dough. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and lard in stages, pulsing until the mixture forms bean-size pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist but not wet.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gather into two balls. Flatten each into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Make the pork shoulder. Season the pieces of pork aggressively with salt and pepper. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, sear the meat on all sides until browned, turning as necessary, 10 minutes.

Add the allspice berries and cinnamon sticks, and stir to toast them, then add the beer. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer steadily until the pork is very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. (When the pork is done, you can allow it to cool in its liquid and refrigerate it for one or two days before using.)

Make the chicken or turkey. Heat oven to 325. Season the chicken or turkey thighs aggressively with salt and pepper, then roast in a cast-iron pan or shallow baking tray until their skin is crisp and they have cooked through, approximately 1 hour. (The chicken or turkey, too, may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator before using.)

Make the pie filling. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven set over medium heat, and when it foams, add the onions, garlic and parsley. Cook, stirring often, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, until they are soft and have given up their liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine or stock, and stir to deglaze the pan, then cook until the liquid has evaporated, 5 minutes.

Add the ground pork and the spices, and cook until the pork has lost its pinkness, 5 to 7 minutes. Add grated potato, and cook another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Shred the cooked chicken or turkey into the pot along with the cooked pork and about 1/2 cup of its braising liquid, stir lightly to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to a day.

Assemble the pie. Place a large baking sheet on the middle rack of oven, and heat to 400.

Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator, and using a pin, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 10 to 11 inches in diameter. Fit this crust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or cast-iron pan, trimming it to leave an overhang. Place this plate, with the dough, in the freezer.

Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 10 to 11 inches in diameter.

Remove pie crust from freezer, and put the chilled filling into it. Cover with remaining dough. Press the edges together, trim excess, then crimp the edges. Using a sharp knife, cut three or four steam vents in the top of the crust. Paint the pie’s top with the egg wash.

Place pie in oven on hot baking sheet, and cook for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350, and cook until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.


Silk Sonic

Silk Sonic

…sexy, ever-so-smooth, and radiates confidence and charisma.”

From Wiki:

“Silk Sonic’s musical style has been described as R&Bsoulfunkpopsmooth soul, and funk-pop. Its sound has also been described as disco-inspired. 

Of An Evening with Silk Sonic’s sound, The Ringer wrote, “though styled as a 1960s to ’70s retro endeavor, Silk Sonic isn’t a work of nostalgia but rather a fusion: funk, rap, and R&B as they’ve sounded in heavy rotation as recently as the 2000s.” 

Sputnikmusic called the album “rich and authentic, existing at the irresistible intersection between 70s funk nostalgia and the luxuries of a modern day studio.”

These guys are hilarious, but they still lay down some seriously tight grooves and amazing harmonies. Brought me back to the clubs in the seventies. Reminds me of the tongue in cheek track that Beck did that I loved, called “Debra.” No doubt a fusion sound, honoring the different genres they blend into a silky brew of style and musicality. The lyrics are funny as hell.

While performing seriously good music, they certainly don’t take themselves seriously. Give a listen.

Bruno Mars, Anderson.Paak, Silk Sonic – Leave the Door Open [Official Video]

Bruno Mars, Anderson.Paak, Silk Sonic – Skate [Official Music Video]

Bruno Mars, Anderson.Paak, Silk Sonic – Smokin Out The Window [Official Music Video]


Funk fuses with rap in front of the Soul Train neon with the dancers, seventies flares, and Motown harmonies.

Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak as Silk Sonic – Fly As Me (LIVE BET Soul Train Awards 2021)


The Evolution of Bruno Mars (1990-2021)


Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at

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