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Recipe Origins: SHEPHERD's PIE aka PATE CHINOIS

PATÉ CHINOIS... morphed into a
 'Mediterranean style' SHEPHERD PIE


Here's my TALE of the
ORIGINS of this traditional  'Classic' 
This past weekend I unfortunately missed out
on an outing at the historical...
Château Ramezay Museum, Old-Montreal, Quebec. 
Not to be missed ...
a Romantic ' Caleche ' ride through the cobblestones.
source: PhotoBucket.com

This outing was organized by a fellow foodie, 
who along with a small group of people
enjoyed a very educational and enjoyable tour of
"The Traditional Food of Québec" exhibition.


source: Museum Château Ramezay


Strangely enough...I coincidentally had a craving for
my Signature Recipe of Shepherds's Pie
(an all time Québécois classic: Paté Chinois).

Therefore, today, I am going to share another side to me.
My ' quirkiness ' in the kitchen...
...where everything is turned upside down in order
to make the most of the 'traditionally classic' my very own.
Having made this dish from the very
original recipe to the present re-created,
'morphed' into ' Mediterranean style ' dish...
PATE CHINOIS (aka Shepherd Pie)
...has been re-visited and re-vamped once more.
I will soon share with you what has resulted...
as my very favourite version so far.

Before I begin describing these wonderful flavours
from this absolutely delicious hearty meal...
I thought of sharing a little history behind this classic.

Curiosity about the origins:
What's behind the recipe's name: 'Paté Chinois'.
Back to when I was a child, I had always asked my
Italian-French Canadian Mom
about the odd title that was attached
to the Chinese part of the recipe's name.
Quite familiar with what Chinese food tasted like...
I didn't feel any of those flavours fit in.
Mom didn't either...so she momentarily shrugged...
and not too insistent at that point...I let it go.
Now that I'm older...I've got the tools to do my own research ;o)
My inquiry mind was on the hunt once more.
So, out I went ' googling ' for my answers.
Here, in my short version is what I discovered:
. This dish is apparently and originally
a French Canadian dish.
Although, there is still a small debate on this issue,
it is, however definitely NOT a Chinese dish.
. This recipe is simply composed of 3 very basic ingredients:
ground beef ... corn kernels ... potatoes.
. It is often eaten with a touch of tomato 'Ketchup' sauce.

One possible explanation of the Chinese reference in the meals' title is that:
The French Canadian railway workers building the...
'North American Railway' worked alongside several Chinese cooks .
source: Canadian pacific Railway

They used these cheaply available ingredients and 
turned it into one excellent flavoured hearty dish.
. In addition, this same recipe somehow found its way to the U.S. through the many...
French Canadians which emmigrated in the Eastern U.S. parts to work at the Mills.
This recipe was shared with their American neighbours.
. Another possible explanation was interpreted by an old native of Maine, U.S.:
it was based on the fact that some forest workers from Québec, also emmigrated specifically in the towns of China and S. China found in the state of Maine.
This is where the Chinese originated the dish's name of the 'China Pie'.
It was to be later translated to 'Paté Chinois' by the
many Québécois that still live in that region today.
. The word 'Pate' in French is certainly not the straight
translation of 'Pie'...it is, however a very loose translation
to define food combined in layers to look condensed.

Flavourful wishes, Foodessa

And, now, the recipe for my Shepherd's Pie
re-created and morphed into a whole
new dish with a Mediterranean twist: