Cipaille… Sea Pie… Cipâtes… Six Pâtes…

Cipaille… Sea Pie… Cipâtes… Six Pâtes… whatever you want to call it – and everyone in Quebec seems to call it something different – this multi-layered meat pie is the ultimate comfort food.

In the old days, cipaille was made with wild meat and fowl and slow cooked in a giant cast iron pot.

But if you live in a city and hunting isn’t really your thing, you can make this fragrant, slow-cooked one-pot “pie” with ingredients found at your local grocery store.

sea pie

Cipaille

  • 2 lbs lean beef
  • 2 lbs lean pork
  • 2 lbs chicken or turkey
  • 1/4 lb. salt pork, thinly sliced
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 2 cups stock (or more)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pastry for double pie crust

Combine Meats and Chill Overnight

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Add onions, salt & pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or overnight.

Prepare Pastry

Cipate is traditionally made with a biscuit-like pastry, but regular pastry dough can also be used.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup lard
  • 2 eggs mixed with 1 ½ cups milk

Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
Assembling Dish

Arrange salt pork evenly in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Layer with 1/3 of the meat, a 1/3 of the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Roll out half of the pastry slightly thicker than for normal pie and arrange on the potato layer, cutting a small hole in the middle.

Repeat with 2 more layers of meat and potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper.

Cover with remaining pastry, and cut a small hole in the middle of that layer too.

Using a funnel, slowly add enough stock through the top hole until liquid appears.

Cover and bake in a preheated 400 F for 45 minutes, then reduce temperature to 250F  and bake, covered, for about 4 more hours. Keep an eye on the pie to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Add more bouillon if necessary. Remove lid and continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

Serve with beets, ketchup rouge, ketchup vert, homemade ketchup, chow chow, an assortment of pickles and perhaps a side dish of cooked carrots or string beans.

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