Tourtiere is the creme de la creme of pies. Lightly spiced and herbed, this meat pie is especially anticipated for Christmas Eve celebrations, but it’s equally tasty for the Thanksgiving dinner and any winter chilly evenings.
Beneath a crust of crisp yet flaky pastry, a tasty, rich and tender meat filling is the ideal antidote to winter chills.
Traditional Tourtière - Canadian Meat Pie
- For the basic short pastry: makes about one pound, just enough for one pie
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4-6 Tbsp. ice water
- For the meat filling:
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or 1/2 cooked potato)
- egg wash for a pie (1 egg yolk plus 1 Tbsp. water)
To make the short pastry: place the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor. Blitz until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. Tip into a mixing bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of cold water and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together. If it seems too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons more water. But be careful, try not to make the dough too wet, because this results in a crumbly pastry. Lightly knead the dough into a smooth ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes be four using.
To make the Tourtière filling: heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add ground meats. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is browned and just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add onion, garlic, spices, and parsley. Let veggies sweat, cooking until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add stock and cook about 5 to 10 minutes more then add breadcrumbs or cooked potato. Taste the tourtière filling and adjust seasoning and spices. Let cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Roll out the large piece of the pastry to top a pie dish. Spoon the meat mixture into the dish. Roll out the remaining pastry and use to cover the filling, trimming off any excess and sealing the edges with an egg wash. For an attractive appearance, scallop the pastry crust. Make a stem hole in the center of the lid. Brush with egg wash and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
Instead of the bread crumbs, I added a grated half cooked potato to the recipe to add texture and to keep the meat together.