When I was growing up, our family enjoyed eating tourtière for supper occasionally. There was something delicious about its simple, yet flavorful filling and flaky golden pastry. I always looked forward to eating this pie!
Did you know that tourtière originated in the Canadian province of Quebec? It is a traditional meat pie that varies widely from area to area, and is often served on Christmas Eve in French Canadian households. Many tourtière recipes call for both ground pork and ground beef, and some even include game meats to provide more variety. Some people use mashed potatoes in the filling, while others say to use grated potatoes. I’ve opted for a mixture of ground pork and beef and grated potatoes.
Many times, I’ve had tourtière that has a dry, not-so-flavorful filling, but this recipe really takes it up a notch. The filling is moist and flavorful and has a nice texture from the ground meat and chopped vegetables. The pastry is very flaky and crumbly, which is fun (albeit messy) to eat. Bring out the ketchup bottle and dig in!Print
Tourtière, or French Canadian meat pie, is a traditional Quebec meat pie made with ground pork, ground beef, potatoes, vegetables, and spices. It’s often served on Christmas Eve in French Canadian homes. You’ll love this classic recipe for a family dinner!
For the Pastry
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
- Pinch of fine salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled (70g)
- 5 tablespoons lard, chilled (70g)
- 3-5 tablespoons ice-cold water (44-73 ml)
- 1 large egg, beaten, for glazing
For the Filling
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork (680g)
- 1 pound ground beef (453g)
- 2 large onions, finely chopped (380g)
- 1 large and 1 medium potato, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped (71g)
- 2 cups beef or chicken broth (473ml)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preparing the Filling (1 hour 15 minutes + 1 hour cooling)
- Brown the ground pork and ground beef in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Break up any clumps with a heavy metal flipper.
- While the meat is cooking, finely chop the onions and celery.
- Drain the excess fat from the meat and return it to the Dutch oven. Turn the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, beef broth, and spices. Peel and grate the potatoes and stir them into the mixture.
- Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, adjusting the seasonings to taste. Simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. The filling should be thick and moist.
- Spoon the mixture into a large, shallow dish and allow the filling to cool to room temperature on the counter, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Making the Pastry (10 minutes + 1 hour chilling while filling is cooling)
- While the filling is cooling, make the pastry. Start by pouring the flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the salt, butter, and lard and rub the fats into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the water a tablespoon at a time, fluffing the mixture to combine. Add just enough water to bring the mixture together into a soft dough.
- Turn the pastry out onto the counter and knead gently a few times to finish blending the ingredients, then shape it into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Assembling & Baking the Pie (10 minutes + 40 minutes baking)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Beat one large egg in a small bowl.
- Once the pastry has chilled and the filling has cooled, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a little less than 1/8 inch thick. Use it to line a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Spoon all the filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Brush the lip of the pie with beaten egg.
- Re-roll the remaining pastry and use it cover the pie, pressing down the edges to seal and trimming off excess pastry with a knife. Crimp the edges with a fork, then brush the whole pie with beaten egg. Cut a few vent holes in the lid.
- Set the pie on a heavy rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 400 F for about 40-50 minutes, until the pastry is evenly browned. Cover the edge of the crust with aluminum foil if it’s getting too dark.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve the pie warm or cold with tomato ketchup.