Cipâte or Cipaille – Layered Meat Pie

Cipâte or Cipaille Pie

Quebec, Canada

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Cipâte or Cipaille, a layered meat pie, is a Québécoise classic, much beloved throughout the province of Quebec. Cipâte is a traditional Christmas holiday meal, with a deep and rich flavor. What the term fundamentally means is that you don’t care what you put into the pie, it’ll be good. This rustic cooking is based on Canada’s French roots, when meat was hunted and stored. So use whatever meats you have on hand, you can’t go wrong! Let’s get at it.

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Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs boneless pheasant, duck or chicken
  • 2 lbs lean venison or beef
  • 2 lbs lean pork
  • 4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 lb salt pork, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp mixed ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 short crust pie dough (recipe below)

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Short crust pie dough
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3⁄4 cup vegetable shortening or lard
Instructions:
For double crust pie
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and water
  • In another bowl, mix all purpose flour with vegetable shortening
  • Mix until it resembles coarse meal
  • Stir liquid in with two knife
  • Until the dough gathers into ball
  • Cover and chill dough for an hour

Filling

  • Cut chicken, beef and pork into 1 inch cubes and place in a large bowl
  • Combine with onions, cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight
  • Arrange salt pork evenly in the bottom of a 3 quart casserole
  • Preferably cast iron with a cover
  • Layer with 1/3 of the meat mixture and 1/3 of the potatoes
  • Season with 1/3 of salt, pepper and spices
  • Roll out half of the pastry slightly thicker than for a normal pie
  • Arrange on the potato layer, cutting a small hole in the center
  • Repeat with 2 more layers of meat, potatoes and seasonings
  • Cover with remaining pastry, cutting a small hole in the center
  • Slowly add enough chicken stock through the hole until liquid appears
  • Cover dish and bake in a preheated 400 F oven
  • For 45 minutes or until liquid simmers
  • Reduce temperature to 250 F
  • Continue to bake, covered, for 5 to 6 hours more
  • Until top crust is a rich golden brown
  • Remove and let stand to set up before serving

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Serve with your favorite fresh vegetable sides and crusty bread for dipping. This is the epitome of Canadian comfort food.

Enjoy!

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