Tourtière or Pâté à la Viande (meat pie)

Andy Anderson !


Okay, before we get started on this, let me just say that I am not French, I am not French Canadian, and I do not live in Quebec… I’m mid-west born and bred.

We used to have this dish every Christmas Eve (réveillon), and it became so popular that mom would have to make six of these, just to feed our neighbors and friends, who just seemed to show up every Christmas Eve. I found that rather suspicious.

To this day, I have no idea where she got this recipe from, or why she brought a French Canadian tradition into our Roman Catholic home... but I'm really glad she did.

pinch tips: How to Freeze Fish, Meat & Poultry





20 Min


40 Min




1 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin
1 lb
ground pork, freshly ground
1/2 tsp
salt, table variety
1/2 tsp
ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp
ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp
red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp
ground cloves
3/4 lb
golden potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/4 c
carrots, small dice
3/4 c
yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 c
celery, finely chopped
2 clove
garlic, minced
1/5 Tbsp
all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c
chicken broth, unsalted if possible.
pie crust dough, for topping the ramekins

Directions Step-By-Step

I’ve kept up the tradition of serving this dish on Christmas Eve, but over the years, I’ve changed the recipe from what I remember. In addition, I’ve talked to a lot of my Canadian friends, and, depending on what region of Canada they’re from, they all seem to have their own twists on this recipe. Based on my research, I would be hard-pressed to say that there is one “traditional” way of making tourtière.
Chef's Note:
This dish is traditionally served like a big pie, where everyone comes up and takes a bit. Since I do catering, I'm always looking to do big dishes that I can make small. So, for this recipe, we'll be using individual ramekins, as opposed to one big pie dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, until the oil begins to shimmer... but not smoke.
Add the pork to the pan, and then add the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, red pepper, and cloves.

Sauté until the meat is browned and crumbly.

Chef's Note: If you're not using a low-salt variety of chicken broth, you might want to leave the salt out, and add it after adding the broth, only if you feel it needs it.
Throw the onion, carrot, celery, potatoes, and garlic, and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.

Chef's Note: Since this dish will be finished in the oven, don't overcook the veggies.

Chef's Tip: When cubing the potatoes, I would go about 1/4 inch... for the carrots you can go a bit smaller; say 1/8 of an inch.
Add the flour, and stir to combine.
Add the broth to the pan, and stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about two minutes on the boil.
Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat your oven to 400f (205c).

Chef's Note: Consistent temperature is very important in an oven. I keep a large pizza stone in my oven... Not because I make a lot of pizzas. The stone helps to steady the temperature of the oven, and bring it quickly back to temp, after the door has been opened.
Add a cup of the mixture to 4, 8-ounce ramekins.

Chef's Note: You will probably have a bit left over. I usually get 5 ramekins worth of filling when I make these.
Chef's Note: For this step, I usually prefer to make my own pie dough, and if you have a favorite recipe, by all means use it.

You will need enough pie dough, to make 4 (or 5) 5-inch circles.
Roll out the pie dough, and place a 5-inch circle on top of each ramekin.

Cut some slits in the top, to vent the filling while baking.

Chef's Note: I have holiday pastry cutters, and I usually make the vent holes using the shape of a Christmas tree, or a reindeer.
Chef's Note: If you want a nice crisp-looking top, brush a bit of egg white, or milk over the tops before sticking in the oven.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden, and the filling bubbly.
This is, of course, a meal onto itself; however, I do like to add a small side salad, just to round things out.
I thought that I would add an image of how it might look, if you combined all of the ingredients to a single pie dish.
Final Thoughts
Last Christmas Eve it was actually snowing. We had a big blaze going in the fireplace, and people milling about sipping on their favorite adult beverages, all the while noshing on this excellent dish.

May your holidays be bright, and filled with happiness and the joy of the season.


About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef, Pork, Savory Pies
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Canadian