Tourtière Video (scroll down for printable recipe)
Originally a tourtiére was a HUGE meat pie baked in the deep dish for which it is named. The tourtières I saw on the innernet were like Dutch ovens, 6 inches deep and 8 inches wide probably, holding a good two pounds of meat on their own. Some recipes called for the pies to bake 2-3 hours! I know of no one in this day and age that have either the time, or the appetite for that much meat pie. So, sacre bleu! I made mini-tourtiére. Is that a sin?
This recipe is adapted from one sent to me by Sharron in Canada. After reading some recipes online, too, I decided to add a little allspice (many recipes also use cloves, but that is too much for me) and use thyme in places of savory simply because I don’t keep savory in the house and I really like thyme (I hope that’s okay, Sharron!). I also nearly halved her recipe, since there are only two of us in the house and while we certainly would have eaten two pounds-worth of tourtiere, I don’t think we should. And having said that, we could have frozen them. Sharron also sent directions on how she freezes these, if you’d like to do the same.
Lacking adorable mini-pie pans, make this same recipe (below) in a standard or deep dish 9″ pie pan. Personally, I think there is more to mini-pies than people give them credit for, especially if you are a person who has a special affinity for pie crust. Like me.
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or grated boiled potato
- Pastry for one double-crust, 9-inch pie
- 1 egg, beaten, for glaze
- In a large, heavy frying pan, combine pork with cold water and heat to
- boiling point. It should be slightly soupy. Add onion, celery, pepper, bay leaf, savory, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 1 1/4 hours; stir often. Add more water if mixture dries out.
- Halfway through cooking time, season with salt.
- Stir in rolled oats and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bay leaf
- and allow to cool. Setting the entire pot in the snow bank speeds up this
- Meanwhile, line a standard 9-inch pie plate with pastry (or 2 mini-pie tins). When meat mixture is lukewarm, spread it into tins.
- Brush around outer edge of pastry with the beaten egg. Place top crust
- on the tart and press gently around the edge to seal. Trim pastry, crimp edges
- and cut steam vents in top crust. Decorate as desired.
- Bake in preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F
- and bake another 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden.
To freeze unbaked pies:
Pies can be frozen directly after assembly, with the dough still raw. Wrap them well in plastic wrap and freeze.
Remove pie from the freezer and unwrap.
Brush the top with a little beaten egg and place frozen meat pie in a preheated
Bake until golden and heated through, about 50 minutes.
Pies can also be baked and cooled, then wrapped and frozen. This is convenient when you really need an instant supper fix.
To reheat cooked, frozen pies:
Remove meat pie from the freezer a few hours before serving, if possible.
Wrap in foil to keep it moist and warm in a low (300°F) oven until heated through.
- Serving Size: 1 mini-pie
- Calories: 491
- Fat: 20
- Carbohydrates: 43
- Protein: 34
And finally, I’ll leave you with this adorable quote from Sharron:
Whether you speak French or English in the home, celebrate Christmas or not, tourtière is an essential December dish around here.
Hilah, I did see the video. You (and your friend who shared the recipe with you) are absolutely right — there are a million different versions of tourtiere. I don’t remember what all was in the version that I had in Quebec in 1977. Something to explore for New Year’s Eve?
Anyway, “your” version looka to be exciting and tasty and definitely worth trying.
Honestly, when Chris and I first read up about what is a tourtiére, neither of us was terribly excited about it. But it was requested by several people so we gave it a shot and were really pleasantly surprised. It’s quite tasty.
I made your (and/or Sharrons's) tourtiere for supper tonight. Lard-based pastry. It was lovely.
Yay! That’s great, Pat. Thanks for writing!
I love making tourtiere for the holidays. Being of Quebec descent I use our family recipe. I explain to friends making tourtiere is like making spaghetti sauce, every family has a recipe at it’s the best one!
Hello Hilah, Merrilou always gets pork pies at Christmas from a bakery in her hometown in Maine. Biddeford is almost all French Catholic and these pork pies are fantastic. I love to warm up a slice in the morning with some fried eggs. The best breakfast on a winter day by far. Merry Christmas! Randy and Merrilou
That sounds great! I wouldn’t have thought to have it for breakfast.
Merry Christmas, Randy and Merrilou!
We live in Biddeford and good to hear your comments. We have over 400 relatives in Quebec and it’s always such a great pleasure to visit Canada. You are all so friendly and kind. We wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Healthy New Year. Now back to baking pork pies (a must have during the holidays)
Kind or an oblique reference to pork pies, but you might want to check this out:
Her slightly synthetic “saucisson” in brioche pastry is wonderful.
Yes, I’ve made it.
I love her web site. It’s French to the bone.
Merry Christmas, if you’re celebrating.
Thanks, Pat! I wasn’t familiar with that site before, but I suspect I’ll be checking it out now!
I was so glad to see that these are REAL pies and not some of those thingies wearing just puff pastry hats. Oddly enough I too recently bought mini pie pans, which you can see here on Amazon http://amzn.to/1h0txUF I’d almost placed my order when it occurred to me that I had no idea how much filling to make for them, so I bought a mini-pie cookbook. When I got the pan(s), I realized that the genius who designed them sized them perfectly for 9 inch pie recipes. So I’ll get 4 pies instead of 3 out of this recipe. I’d be curious to see your friend’s freezing instructions.
Oh, yeah…that mini-pie cookbook? Worst cookbook I’ve bought in over a decade. The author is a chef wannabe and wrote recipes that makes Joel Robuchon look like The Minimalist.
Oh, never mind. I didn’t read completely through the recipe and missed the freezing instructions.
Haha! I just recieved a cookbook for review that I will not be reviewing. It may be the worst cookbook I’ve ever even seen.
I am totally stealing this recipe. My grandmother was Acadian and she didn’t pass her recipe down before she died (though she did pass down several hundred recipes designed for camps (kids, work, etc) so I have lots of recipes from her that are designed for between 50-100 people…..yeah trying to smaller them down a bit.
I hope it’s similar to what you remember, Stephen! It was so so tasty.
I am one of your fans from Germany.
I love your recipes and I have tried many.
With this recipe I have a problem. Here in Germany there is no finished dough to buy for.
What it is for a kind of dough when I make it myself?
Thank you for writing. This is the type of pastry dough you would make: https://hilahcooking.com/pie-crust-recipe/
I hope you try it! It’s very delicious. 🙂
Thank you very much for your response and the dough recipe.
I’ll try it soon, thank you 🙂
The state of New Hampshire has many residents of French Canadian descent. On the Facebook page, “Things I Remember About Manchester, NH,” there is an ongoing discussion on favorite tourtière recipes. I thought you might be interested, so I reprinted it (to date) here.
Our recipe handed down through generations doesn’t use rosemary or bay. But we do use cloves and allspice and nutmeg. And breadcrumbs not potatoes.
But it’s all good.
My grand mere made many large tourtieres each year. This year. I made two, ate one and froze the other. It weighs 8 pounds and is mostly cooked and frozen. We are having it with friends tomorrow. I’ll take it out of the freezer in the morning. At what temperature and for how long would you recommend that I cook it? Merci. Looking forward to making your mini tourtieres soon.
Hi, just saw your recipe and I thought your explanation of the name was interesting. I follow my late mother-in-law’s recipe, which was handed down from her older sister who was a pastry chef at one of the Chateau hotels in Montreal. I was always told that the name derived from a bird, somewhat like a pigeon, which a person would bring down by throwing a paddle type thing at. I’ve looked it up and found this: “A ‘tourte’ was the name of a bird like a pigeon, and they were making pie with these types of birds,” says Ricardo. “So they called it ‘tourtière. ‘ Another other explanation is that it got the name from the dish — a tourtière is also the [pie pan] in which this meat pie was cooked and baked.” So a couple of different explanations! Will have to try your recipe, just cooking mine now!