Classic Holiday Meals: Tourtière

Since moving to Quebec, tourtière has become one of my favorite holiday meals. It's a classic Canadian dish traditionally served for Christmas and New Years' celebrations. A tourtière is a meat-filled pie - usually made with pork, beef, or veal and a variety of spices and seasonings. It's also a great option for freezer cooking - the filling can be frozen before or after putting it in its pie shell. I've done both - frozen just the filling and frozen the complete pie (before baking, though I bet you could also freeze and reheat a fully cooked pie). I also love using small tart pans and making individual portions - perfect for baking in a toaster oven for a quick dinner.

Serve with a side salad and you're good to go! (My husband likes his served with gravy.)

Tourtière (meat pie) is a traditional Canadian dish served during Christmas and New Years. Plus it's tasty and easy to make. Make it for dinner this holiday season.

How to make a Tourtière

After you've discovered how much you like tourtière you'll want to keep your freezer stocked too. I like to double the filling and use it to make 4 pies (there are only 3 of us at home). If your family is larger, use the recipe as-is for 1 pie - it's hearty enough to serve a whole family (especially with some veggies, mashed potatoes, or a salad on the side). Don't forget the gravy!

This recipe is fairly straightforward, though there are a few steps involved. Much of the cooking time involves keeping an eye on the filling as it cooks. But, like all pies, you'll have to roll out pie crust, fill and form the pie.. (That's why I like to make 4 at a time!)

Tourtière (French Meat Pie) Recipe

Serves: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock (low sodium)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt (1/2 tsp if beef stock is not low sodium)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and crumble ground pork into the pan. Cook until the pork is no longer pink. Drain off any fat.
  2. Add the stock, onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, and seasonings (salt, pepper, cinnamon, sage, and cloves). Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-45 minutes (until there is about 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining), stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the bread crumbs and parsley. Cover and refrigerate until cold (can also freeze the filling at this point).
  5. When you're ready to make the pie, preheat the oven to 375.
  6. Roll out one pie crust on a lightly floured surface and fit it into a pie plate.
  7. Spoon the filling into the crust.
  8. Roll out second pie crust and place over the top of the filling. Crimp the edges of the pie. (Can freeze at this point.)
  9. Beat egg and water together and brush over the top of the pie crust. Cut steam vents in the crust and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.
  10. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Canadian Living.

If you’d like to freeze the tourtière – after you’ve made it, but before it’s baked, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. It will keep for 2 months (I’ve never frozen it for longer than that). Thaw in the refrigerator for one day before baking as directed.

Tonia L

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