Tourtiere is a French Canadian meat pie. It is one of the traditional dishes served at the feast on Christmas Eve in Quebec and is a family favorite. I have fond memories of growing up in Quebec and Tourtiere definitely figures prominently in them.
I learned this cooking side by side with a French Canadian chef who was a family friend. It was a huge hit and I’ve been using this recipe ever since. It’s delicious served on its own, but if you want to take it to the next level, try my Cranberry Chutney with it.
Do note that as with my dishes like this, there are some regional differences. They all tend to have the same (or very similar) spice mixture in them – after all, what is Tourtiere without them? But some people add other ingredients such as carrots and potatoes to their pies.
This recipe is most similar to the ones you’ll find on frozen food departments of Canadian grocery stores. So, I’m guessing it’s the most popular. And, I think if I ever tried to change our recipe, my daughter would revolt!
I almost called this a spicy meat pie. It is but maybe not in the way you might think by that description. It’s not spicy as in hot. The spices are more of those comfort food type seasonal spices that make you feel all warm and cozy inside. It’s like a big warm hug on a cold winter’s day – in pie form!
FRENCH CANADIAN TOURTIERE RECIPE
French Canadian Tourtiere Recipe
A delicious hearty meat pie with a unique blend of spices. A traditional Christmas Eve holiday favorite in Quebec!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 3 slices bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 pie crusts Use your favorite recipe.
Cook the bacon in a skillet until done. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.
Add ground meats, onion, and garlic. Saute until meat is browned and onion is translucent.
Stir in the spices and water.
Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk milk and flour together until well blended.
Stir the flour mixture into the simmering ingredients in the skillet.
Keep at a simmer and stir until the mixture thickens.
Add bacon back in.
Prepare the pie crust – top and bottom. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the bottom crust to keep it from puffing up.
Add meat filling to bottom crust in pie plate and top with another piece of pie crust. Use a fork to seal the edges and poke a few holes in the top crust to vent it.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes until golden.
Traditionally, this meat pie includes veal but my family prefers it without. If you like veal, try it with 3/4 lb ground beef, 3/8 lb of ground pork, and 3/8 lb of ground veal.
Tourtiere is simple to make and it freezes well. We like to keep them on hand for those “I need comfort food” winter nights and have even been known to have one in the middle of summer too!