Tourtiere: The Canadian Food Experience Project Challenge 6.

Ah Tourtiere. I honestly couldn’t imagine the holidays without it. Spiced meat wrapped with flaky, buttery pastry and topped with Ketchup (that’s how true Frenchies eat it!). Tourtiere is made as part of a traditional French Canadian Christmas. My whole family makes them every year, and we give them away as Christmas gifts. On Christmas eve, we would go to midnight mass, and then we return to my grandparents for Reveillon, where we would spend the night opening gifts, having tasty drinks, and, of course, digging into Tourtiere. It will always be one of my favourite holiday memories.

As part of the Canadian Food Experience Project, I decided to share my family’s holiday tradition with you. Challenge 6 asks participants to identify their most cherished recipe from their Canadian Christmas Traditions. The project began back in June. As participants share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity.

DSC04958My Grandmaman’s Tourtiere recipe has ground pork and veal in it, along with all of the tasty spices you’d find in the recipe.

DSC04965The spices are simple: Cloves, allspice and salt and pepper.

DSC04960When we make tourtiere, we go all out and make dozens of pies. They make the perfect gift during the holidays.

DSC04962We use potato flakes to thicken up the meat before it goes into the pie shells.

DSC04967Next, fill the shells with tasty meat.

DSC04969Top the bottom with a top shell and let it sit for a few minutes. The steam from the bottom will help the top shell come out of it’s tin more easily.

DSC04970See? Easy-peasy.

DSC04972Next, trim the excess pie dough and crimp the edges, then poke with a fork all over, to make vent holes.

DSC04973Baste the pie with milk, so that the pastry can become nice and flaky in the oven.

DSC04978Bake at 350 until golden brown. Serve your slice with a dollop of ketchup on top, and enjoy, a lot!

Grand Maman Bernier’s Tourtiere

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs ground, lean pork

1/2 lb ground veal

1 large onion, diced

1 tbs fat

1/4 cup hot water

1 tsp salt and pepper

1/2 tsp allspice and ground clove

1/2 cup instant mashed potatoes

1/2 cup milk

In a heavy saucepan, melt fat and saute onion. Add meat and brown over med-high heat, stirring constantly to break up lumps. Add hot water and spices. Cover and simmer for 1 hr and a half. Let cool, then add instant mash potatoes before filling pie shells. Fill pie shell bottoms and top with another pie shell. Crimp the shells closed, and poke vent holes all over. Baste pie shell with milk, then bake at 350 for about 25 mins, until golden brown. Serve with ketchup. Enjoy!

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3 Comments on “Tourtiere: The Canadian Food Experience Project Challenge 6.”

  1. […] of the harvest growing up in Mayview, Saskatchewan. Now that is an Alberta harvest!   Jacquie at Parkallen Home Kitchen from Edmonton, Alberta, shares her French Canadian Christmas Holiday tradition of eating Tourtiere […]

  2. […] to truly appreciate my heritage and explored some traditional French Canadian recipes, including Tourtiere, Cretons, Tarte au Sucre and Soupe au Pois (Pea Soup). As part of Ukranian heritage, I explored […]

  3. […] she cooked a plethora of traditional French Canadian recipes: Pudding Chomeure, Tarte au sucre, tourtiere and cretons. She went on to create an incredible, large family legacy of Canadiens-Francais with my […]


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