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holding a slice of French Canadian meat pie with a fork

French Canadian Meat Pie: Tourtière

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie 1x


French Canadian meat pie, called tourtière in French, is a delicious savory pie served on Christmas Eve in Quebec.  Ground beef and pork are cooked with onions, potato, celery, beef stock, and lots of aromatic spices to give this dish lots of flavor.  You family will love this main dish served with mashed potatoes, ketchup, or HP sauce.  It’s a keeper!


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork, preferably with 20% fat content (680g)
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably with 20% fat content (453g)
  • 2 1/3 cups yellow onion, finely chopped (380g)
  • 1 large and 1 medium potato (590g)
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped (71g)
  • 2 cups beef broth (473 ml)
  • 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
  • 15 ounces flaky shortcrust pastry (425g)
  • 1 large egg, for glazing


Preparing the Filling (1 hr 15 min + 1 hr cooling)

  1. 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, and continue cooking the meat until almost all of the fat has boiled off.  While the meat is cooking, finely chop the onions and celery.
  2. 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 right away or they will turn a pinkish gray color.
  3. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir, adjusting the seasonings as desired.  Simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.  The filling should be thick and moist.
  4. 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.

Assembling & Baking the Pie (10 min + 40 min baking)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Beat one large egg in a small bowl.
  2. Once the pastry has chilled and the filling has cooled, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.  Use it to line a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate.  Spoon all the filling inside, and brush the lip with beaten egg.
  3. Re-roll the remaining pastry and use it cover the filling, 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 and decorate with pastry scraps as desired.
  4. 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.
  5. Let it cool on a wire rack about 30 minutes before serving, as the filling needs time to cool and set before slicing.  Serve hot with tomato ketchup or HP sauce.


  • Use at least two kinds of meat.  80% lean to 20% fat is the best ratio to use, as a low fat content will make the pie dry and bland.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste as the filling cooks.
  • Let the filling cool at room temperature before assembling the pie, or it may melt the butter in the pastry.
  • Leftovers? Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.  Defrost overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the oven at 400 F or in the microwave.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: French Canadian

Keywords: recipe, spices