Traditional Quebec cuisine: Tourtière |

Traditional Quebec cuisine: Tourtière

(Traditional Québécois meat pie …well as traditional as it can be, being pork-less!)

A large percentage of Québécois main courses include pig meat in some form or another. And some tourtières contain 100% pork meat. This recipe I have from my mom (who probably got it from her mom) contains a mix or veal, beef and pork. I have never tried it without pork, so this is highly experimental. Try substituting the ground pork with another meat (goat, lamb, or even an extra pound of beef) according to your preference, insha Allah. NOTE that pork is salty and has a high fat content; whatever substitute is used should either be similar in salt and fat content, or adjusted manually (add an extra bit of salt, etc.).


1 lb ground veal
1 lb {substitute here meat of your choice for the ground pork required in the traditional tourtiere}
1 lb ground beef (regular, not lean)
2-4 large onions, chopped
1 1/2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 teaspoon allspice (Don't leave it out! It is said that the seasoning is what "makes" the tourtiere)

3 unbaked double pie crusts (3 bottoms + 3 lids)


Work all the ingredients together with your hands. Fry in 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1/2 cup water. Simmer 1 hour. Cook 2 potatoes separately. Mash only until lumpy, and mix into cooked meat.
Divide filling and place into 3 unbaked pie crusts. Add pasty lids, flute edges, and cut a few short slits in the top (allows steam to escape). Bake at 425*F for 30 minutes.


3 pies


In Québec, it is usually served with ketchup (essential, if you ask me), pickled beets and other pickles on the side.


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I used local veal, and local grass fed beef. I also used this incredible chunky canned corned beef (Palm Brand) from New Zealand as an alternative to the pork and I find the fat and texture in this canned beef works well. I also happened to have some fresh thyme sitting around that I had trimmed from the garden earlier and threw it in there too and it was wonderful!



Dear Halal Friends,

Many people who aren't Muslim orJewish avoid pork nowadays for health or environmental reasons (pork production is highly polluting to waterways).

My tourtière this week will be completely made of duck; the original tourtières were made from tourtes - passenger pigeons, so easy to hunt that they became extinct (the Native people knew better than to waste this precious resource).

You can also make a very authentic tourtière from lamb. If I'm doing that, yes alspice, but also some aromatic spices such as cardamom and cumin. Happy year's end holidays.


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