Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

February 18, 2013


Tourte Au Chou


As much as I live by everything things Italian all the time, when it comes to food and cooking believe it or not, I do branch out. This savory “tourte” has been on my mind ever since I made the incredible “Woodland Tart” a few months ago. Both recipes come from a restaurant where I worked for about four years when I first moved to the San Diego area. The food that was served there was what you might call “California cuisine” along with a healthy dose of French bistro fare. The recipe for this tourte originated from a French “charcutier” (someone trained in the art of working with meat products, especially pork) who worked in the restaurant kitchen.

on dish

I’m sure there are more than a few cuisines with their own spin on a cabbage and pork pie, but I’m partial to this French one. The cabbage sweetens up a bit as it cooks and is the perfect foil for the smoky bacon and ground pork. How can you resist anything wrapped in a buttery puff pastry crust?


Tourte Au Chou (adapted from the Piret’s Cookbook)

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1/4 pound bacon, chopped
1 pound ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
1 large head of cabbage, shredded
Kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Roll out one sheet of pastry and fit into a 10″ pie dish with a 1″ overhang of the dough. Fit the pastry into the pan and refrigerate. Store remaining dough until you are ready to use it.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until it begins to render its fat. Add the ground pork and cook just until it loses its pink color. Stir in the onions and cook for five minutes, Add the cabbage and a good sprinkling of salt and cook covered for about 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft. Drain the mixture in a colander and spread it in a shallow pan so it cools quickly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie pan, mounding it in the center. Roll out the remaining pastry to a circle wide enough to cover the filling. Fold the bottom overhanging pastry up over the top edge, pressing to seal. Crimp edges and brush egg wash over the dough. Cut a small hole in the center of the dough to ket the steam escape.

Bake the pie for about 45 minutes, or until the top is well browned. Let the pie stand for about 15 minutes to firm up, then cut into wedges to serve. Perfect with a green salad and a glass of wine! Serves: 6 to 8


20 thoughts on “Tourte Au Chou

  1. that looks so amazingingly beautiful!!!! yummy

  2. Gail-this is really simple to make! You should make it.

  3. I had this dish many times at Piret’s restaurant. They served it with very spicy mustard which is a must! It elevates it to something extraordinary.

  4. One of my favorite dishes ever! They made it with a ton of freshly cracked pepper. I add some coarse spicy mustard to the mixture.

  5. I worked at Piret’s from ’83 to ’86. Love this recipe!

  6. I was just thinking about this dish yesterday. I too worked at Pirets! This was one of my favorite items from the menu. Since it is winter, it seems like a perfect meal to share with friends. I am happy to have found this! TD

    • I live in San Diego and used to live very close to Piret’s Mission Hills….. I loved the food and the ambiance….. I’ve made the Torte au Choux for years, it is a favorite… We will never forget the Mungers and their trend-setting charcouterie in Mission HIlls ! Miss it a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Hello T David-wasn’t Piret’s such a wonderful place? I worked for them for about 4 years. I am now motivated to make that Torte Au Choux and also the Woodland Torte (with mushrooms). I have so many great memories of all the meals I ate while working there. George and Piret were certainly ahead of their time.

      • S. Berrin-I loved the Mission Hills location-so charming and the Pan Shop was great too. The Mungers really were pioneers in bringing good food to San Diego.

    • Mark and T David-did either of you work in Encinitas?

      • Yes. I worked at the Encinitas location, in the Lumeryard. It was a great first SD area job. The picture on the cover of the Piret’s cookbook was taken there at the Encinitas location. This was a long time ago, but I remember working a fashion show at the Grossmont Mall one night. I did another even at the relatively new Union Bank location, (a large black high rise) downtown San Diego, that was a daytime event. Good times, certainly.

      • Never in Encinitas just Mission Hills and as a manager in Grossmont๐Ÿ˜Ž

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