For Christmas Eve this year, I decided to make a homemade tourtière. A tourtière is a French-Canadian meat pie, traditionally including game (rabbit, elk, etc…), but many contemporary recipes include a mix of ground beef and pork (or just one or the other!). This is a dish that various members of my Canadian family have enjoyed over the years, but it’s not something we ever ate when I was growing up, so I was eager to give it a try! I was inspired by this Tourtière recipe on the Grow a Good Life blog. The whole process for making it is so clearly described on this site – and there are even tips for freezing both cooked and uncooked versions of the pie (if you want to make a few to eat throughout the holiday season or to gift!).
Growing up, my family would usually just snack on cheese, crackers, crab dip, and shrimp on Christmas Eve – usually this was in preparation for our planned Christmas day indulgences. Over the past several years, I’ve made a mix of meals, with seafood casserole being a consistent dish. But… I think tourtière is going to make it into our regular rotation! My husband was skeptical, but we both ended up really enjoying it. The flaky crust, the hearty filling, and the warm aromatic spices made for a very comforting meal on our chilly (for Tucson) Christmas Eve.
I ended up decorating my crust to make it more festive for the special meal, and I used a mix of ground beef and pork. For next year I’m already thinking that I might use a mix of ground beef and Italian sausage, just to mix it up a little. I served it with some of my dad’s homemade cranberry chutney, which was a nice sweet/tart accompaniment to the otherwise substantial pie. This is a great dish for cold winter nights. Enjoy!
Tourtière (Canadian Meat Pie)
- Pie Crust:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup salted butter
- 7-8 Tbsp cold water
- 1 egg, beaten (for sealing the top and bottom crust, and doing the egg wash at the end)
- 1lb ground pork
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large russet potato (peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces)
- 2 tsp meat seasoning (whatever your favorite is! I used a general pork griller seasoning)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Prepare the pastry:
- In a large bowl, combine flour with the salt.
- Cut in butter until the mixture has a rough and crumbly texture.
- Add water one tbsp at a time and blend until dough comes together.
- Shape the dough into two discs, wrap and chill them in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Prepare the filling:
- Cook the peeled/cubed potato in a pot of water until tender, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2-cup of potato water and drain the rest. Mash the potato and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the onion, garlic, beef, and pork over medium to medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off excess fat.
- Add the seasonings to the meat mixture in the skillet. Add the reserved potato water. Mix well and simmer over over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove the pan from heat, stir in mashed potatoes, and set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Make the Pie:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to about 12-inches in diameter to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Place the pastry into the pie plate and add the meat filling.
- Brush around the outer edge of the pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the top pastry and place on top of the filling. Cut away any excess pastry (can be used for decorating!). Fold the top crust under the bottom crust and flute the edges. Brush with egg wash and cut vent holes.
- At this step, if you have leftover pastry, roll it out on a floured surfaced and cut out shapes as desired. “Glue” them to the top of the crust using the egg wash. Add a final layer of egg wash (this ensures everything comes out nice and glossy!).
- Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the pastry is golden brown (mine ended up taking about an hour).
- Remove the pie from oven and let it cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with cranberry chutney or sauce. Some recipes I looked at even called for serving it with ketchup! I tried this as well, and it was surprisingly tasty!