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Catholic Recipe: Pate de Noel

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 2 cups minced onions
  • 3 ounces ground salt pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Pastry Shell
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lard
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk Optional:
  • 2 teaspoons granulated gelatin
  • 1-1/4 cups stock or bouillon
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: • • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Canada

Also Called: Christmas Pie; Paté de Noel

In the Tyrol, St. Thomas' Day is pie day. A great meat pie is baked for the whole family. It is marked with the Cross and sprinkled with holy water. Along with the great pie in the hot oven are smaller pies — one for each maid-servant in the house. When the crusts are golden brown, the pies are cooled and frozen. This is very easy to do in the bitter Tyrolian winters. Each maid takes her pie home to her family. On the feast of the Epiphany, the pies are thawed, reheated and eaten. The father of the house makes quite a ceremony of cutting the Christmas pie which is baked in a rectangular pan to resemble the manger.

A similar custom has crossed the water, and is preserved in Catholic quarters of Canada. The Paté de Noel is eaten hot or cold. It is often served at weddings and other festivities.

The Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle was traditionally on December 21. Although the feast is now moved the July 3rd, this day in Europe still marks many customs, and also marks the final countdown for baking and cleaning for Christmas.

DIRECTIONS

Cut shortening into flour. Add salt, egg and milk. Chill for one hour. Roll out and line bottom and sides of baking pan. Add meat filling. Cover with pastry. Cut hole in the center of the top crust. Bake in a moderate oven (375°) for one and one-half to two hours. If you want to eat the pie cold, after it is baked add: 2 teaspoons granulated gelatin dissolved in 1-1/4 cups stock or bouillon.

Recipe Source: Cooking for Christ by Florence Berger, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310, 1949, 1999
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