RECIPE: Tourtière (French-Canadian Pork Pie)

Tourtiere by jwannie on Flickr.

Tourtière is a traditional French-Canadian meat pie, originating from the Quebec and Acadia regions of Canada. It is traditionally made with minced pork and is highly seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg, but has been made with any regionally available meat, s veal, beef, rabbit, game, or even salmon. Tourtières are accompanied by a sweet or savory condiment, such as cranberry sauce, chili sauce or pickled beets, and are traditionally served as part of the réveillon, a long dinner held on the evenings preceding Christmas or New Year’s (common in French-speaking regions).

Because of the shared border between Vermont and Quebec, regional variations of tourtières are common in Vermont community cookbooks. This simple version is a savory take on the recipe, published in Recipes from Many Lands, One Community (1999) by the Barre Ethnic Heritage Association. This cookbook is available in the University of Vermont’s Department of Special Collections (call number: TX725 A1 B37 1999).


1 lb. ground lean pork
½ cup water
2/3 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. sage
¼ tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. ground cloves
2 medium sized potatoes, skinned
1 egg, beaten with water (egg wash)
pie crust

In a stove top casserole dish, combine the pork, water and seasonings. Bring water to a boil, reduce to medium low and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring periodically. Meanwhile, boil the two potatoes. When they are cooked, mash them and add to the meat. There should be a little more than a cup. Place the meat in the pie crust and cover with another layer of dough. Coat the top with egg wash. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serves 6.

This blog post is part of a series highlighting recipes that interweave the culture and history of cooking in Vermont, and is related to the Vermont Foodways Digital Initiative.

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