Tourtière is a French Canadian meat pie which is traditionally served at Christmas. It may be made from pork, beef or a combination of meats sometimes including veal. Different regions in Quebec have their own traditional recipes. Some regions use game such as hare or duck rather than beef and pork. The pies should not have too much filling as they are just a part of the whole traditional Christmas dinner. It's usually served with tomato ketchup. This recipe is the creation of Mme Jehane Benoit, a famous Quebec cooking expert who received the Order of Canada.

Makes 4 - 6 Servings
Yields 1 pie


½ pound (230 g) ground beef ( or combination of beef and pork, or beef, pork & veal)
½ pound (230 g) ground pork
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon (6 g) salt
¼ teaspoon (3 g) celery salt
¼ teaspoon (3 g) clove, ground (a must for authentic Quebecois pie)
½ cup (120 ml) water
¼ -½ cup (30 g - 60 g) breadcrumbs
pastry for a double-crust 9-inch (23 cm) pie, of your choice


Place all ingredients except breadcrumbs and pastry in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add a 3 or 4 spoonfuls of breadcrumbs. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes.

If the fat is sufficiently absorbed by the breadcrumbs, do not add more. If not, add more crumbs in the same manner. Cool mixture and spoon into a pastry-lined pie plate.

Cover with crust and bake at 400°F/204°C until golden brown (follow directions for pie crust you chose).

Serve hot.

NOTE: Cooked tourtière may be frozen for 4 to 5 months and does not need to be thawed before reheating. To reheat, place your frozen tourtiere (covered in foil) in a medium oven and bake until a knife inserted in the center is hot when you pull it out.