Discover the rich history and flavors of Tourtière, a French-Canadian meat pie, with creative variations, serving tips, and make-ahead secrets!
What’s great about this recipe is that you can make the meat pies ahead of time, freeze them unbaked, and just pop them in the oven when you’re ready. I’ve also tried making these in individual-sized pie pans, and they’re just perfect!
Trust me, this is a recipe you’ll want to try – and once you do, you’ll be making it again and again. Enjoy!
Dive into the world of Tourtière, the French-Canadian meat pie that has captured hearts and taste buds for centuries. Learn about its history, ingredients, and variations, while picking up helpful tips on how to prepare and serve this beloved dish.
Tourtière is a traditional French-Canadian meat pie that dates back to the 17th century. Originally from Quebec, this dish has become a beloved part of Canada’s culinary heritage. It is especially popular during the holiday season, particularly on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The name “Tourtière” is thought to have originated from the vessel in which the pie was baked, called a “tourtière” or “tourtier” in French. Over time, the different regions in Quebec and across Canada have developed their own variations of the dish, incorporating local ingredients and traditions.
While the classic Tourtière features a mixture of ground pork and beef, some regional adaptations include game meats like venison or even seafood, reflecting the diverse culinary influences across the country. Despite these variations, the essence of the dish remains the same – a rich, savory meat filling enclosed in a flaky, buttery crust, enjoyed in the company of family and friends.
2 lbs. ground pork
2 lbs. ground beef (round)
¾ cup finely diced celery
1 yellow onion, finely diced
5 cups hot water
2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon chicken base
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 Homemade or store-bought pie crusts (for 9-inch pies)
1 large egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Dissolve the Better Than Bouillon chicken base in the hot water and set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven (I prefer using cast iron) over medium heat. Cook the onion and celery for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Add the chicken stock mixture, ground pork, ground beef, and poultry seasoning. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the meat is fully cooked.
Stir in the breadcrumbs, allspice, ground cloves, and black pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
Season with salt to taste, if needed. Remember, the bouillon and breadcrumbs already have salt, so you may only need a pinch.
Allow the mixture to cool completely before assembling the pies.
Fill the unbaked pie shells with the cooled meat mixture and top with the second pie crust. Roll the edges under and pinch them together around the entire pie. Use a sharp knife to make a small slit in the top of each pie.
Brush the pies with the egg wash.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned.
Let the pies rest for 15 minutes before serving.