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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

"Delicious and Savory: The History and Recipe of Classic French-Canadian Tourtière"

Tourtière is a classic French-Canadian meat pie enjoyed especially during the holiday season, but it's delicious any time of year. Here's a traditional tourtière recipe along with some tips and tricks for the best pie.


  • Dish name: Classic French-Canadian Tourtière

  • Cuisine: Canadian (Québécois)

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes

  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 pie crusts (for a 9-inch pie, top and bottom)

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1/2 pound ground beef

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1 egg (for egg wash)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the pork, beef, onion, garlic, water, salt, thyme, sage, cloves, black pepper, and cinnamon. Cook until the meat is browned and the onion is tender.

  3. Stir in breadcrumbs and mix until well combined. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

  4. Place one pie crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Add the meat filling, pressing it down lightly to eliminate air pockets.

  5. Cover with the second pie crust and seal the edges by crimping. Cut small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.

  6. Beat an egg with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush the top crust with egg wash to give the pie a golden color.

  7. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

  8. Allow the tourtière to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This helps the pie to set and makes it easier to cut.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Let the Filling Cool: To prevent a soggy bottom crust, let the meat filling cool before placing it into the pie crust.

  • Seasoning: The key to a flavorful tourtière is in the seasoning. Feel free to adjust the herbs and spices to your preference.

  • Meat Selection: While pork and beef are traditional, you can also use veal or game meats for a different flavor.

  • Prevent Shrinkage: Prevent your crust from shrinking by chilling the pie crust in the pie plate before filling and baking.

  • Moisture Control: If you find your filling too moist, add a bit more breadcrumbs to absorb the excess liquid.

  • Dough Tips: For a flakier crust, use very cold butter and ice water when making homemade pie dough.

  • Serving Suggestion: Serve tourtière with a side of green salad and pickled beets or chutney to cut through the richness of the pie.

  • Freezing: Tourtière freezes well. Cool the pie completely before wrapping it tightly and freezing it for a later date.

Enjoy your homemade tourtière, a comforting dish that's perfect for a cozy family gathering!

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