"Pepere (pronounced Pephay) is a French Canadian colloquialism for Grand Father so this is MY Pepere's meat stuffing recipe. I remember watching him make this two days before Thanksgiving every year for as long as I can remember. He always used an old (ancient) hand-cranked meat grinder so I sometimes feel like I'm cheating when I use my kitchen-aid meat grinder attachment to make his stuffing."
Filling for 2-9" Pies
- 2 lbs white and dark meat pork
- 2 lbs beef chuck (or hamburger 80/20 or leaner preferred)
- 3 to 4 large white potatoes
- 1 large white onion
- 2 or 3 slices French Bread (a few days old is best)
- 2 tsp ground cloves (approx.)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (approx.)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup water (approx.)
- Run everything through a meat grinder in the following order: Pork and Beef (if not already ground), Onion, Potatoes, French Bread. Be sure to keep the juice from the potatoes and the onion when they are ground. I let everything run into the same bowl when I'm grinding.
- Place in large sauce pot on medium high heat and mix thoroughly, scraping the bottom of the pot regularly until the meat starts to cook through, adding water as needed. This normally takes about 30 minutes or so and can be quite taxing on the arm so use a large, long handled spoon for good leverage or recruit family members to take turns.
- Once meat appears to have cooked mostly through, start adding spices slowly to taste (start with no more than the 2 tsp's at first, as it cooks the spice flavor will strengthen so use a light hand).
- Let cook on low heat for 1 hour after spices are added or until it has turned a nice dark color and the potatoes have broken down to form the binder for the stuffing.
- Taste and re-spice if needed.
This stuffing can be used as a side dish, a meat pie filling or a meat tart filling. This is a "must have" on our Thanksgiving dinner table. The trick to using this for meat pies is to use lean cuts of meat. The more fat in the meat, the greasier the pie will be. Some people like that but I try to avoid heart attacks during dinner. Note: This is not a stuffing for inside the turkey. Someone in my family who shall remain nameless *coughmybrothercough* tried that and what a mess it made in the oven. Use this as a side dish or a filling in pies and puff pastry shells only.