This recipe is a Christmas tradition first given to me by my French-Canadian sister-in-law in the form of a lovely homemade pie. Her family has made dozens of these to share every year with friends and family during the holiday season for generations. In fact, earlier generations stored their newly made pies in the snow banks outside their Quebec homes for keeping through the winter. The tradition of gathering the family to share the assembly of dozens of pies still thrives to this day. Her little grandson could not pronounce the name so he renamed them Santa pies, and the tradition continues. Serve with cornichons or gherkins and grainy Dijon mustard.


Recipe Summary

1 hr
1 hr 20 mins
1 hr
3 hrs 20 mins
30 servings


Original recipe yields 30 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; crumble pork into the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer until pork is no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain water into a large bowl and transfer pork to a separate bowl; refrigerate pork. Refrigerate broth until fat separates from water, at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Place pork in a large skillet; add onions and salt. Cook and stir pork mixture over medium heat until onion is soft and translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Skim and discard the fat from the broth. Pour the remaining broth over the pork-onion mixture; stir in bread crumbs and allspice until well mixed. Add more bread crumbs if mixture is runny. Remove skillet from heat.

  • Press 5 pie crusts into five 9-inch pie dishes. Divide ground pork mixture among the 5 prepared pie crusts. Place 1 pie crust over each pie, crimping edges together to seal. Cut slits into the top crust of each pie for ventilation.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until pies are golden brown, about 1 hour.

Cook's Notes:

Ask your butcher to grind a nice, lean pork roast to make assembly even easier.

The meat mixture should not be runny and should be rather thick so it holds up firmly when you slice the pie into wedges.

Wrap the extra pies in aluminum foil and freeze for gifts or future use. To cook the frozen pies, preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Unwrap bake frozen pie until cooked through, about 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

499 calories; protein 18.4g 37% DV; carbohydrates 35g 11% DV; fat 31.3g 48% DV; cholesterol 49.1mg 16% DV; sodium 882.5mg 35% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (12)

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16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 13
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I am the submitter of this recipe. I need to make clear that this is nothing like a pot pie. It is more like a pork "meat loaf" in a double crust. I also want to point out that the magazine published rendition of this recipe has been changed by the editors of Allrecipe magazine and you may notice that this online version (original recipe) ONLY calls for allspice as a seasoning spice. Enjoy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was fantastic!!! I am French-Canadian and it is a tradition to serve this on New Year's Eve where I an from in way upstate NY. Wonderful recipe I made my own crusts and it made the pie that much better. I didn't really change anything. It was great the way it was written. I have been chasing this recipe for years...and found it in the Dec/Jan 2014-15 issue. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
We made the magazine version of this. Other than it being to salty for my taste it was really good. My husband said it reminded him of the ones his grandmother used to make. We will try it again with out so much salt. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I make this every year around Christmas.I used potato in my pie. I use the instant mashed potato flakes in place of bread crumbs. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This looks so much like those that my Memmre used to make us on cold Autumn nights. My mother's family is French Canadian and I've always enjoyed her recipes. This is one of my absolute favorites but now that she's reaching 70 and it's just my dad and her living by themselves she rarely makes this anymore. I think my children finally need to be introduced to these old world recipes. I'm going to be making this sometime this weekend. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I used a lean pork roast and worstershire sauce and southern seasoning to spice. It was outstanding. After being married to a French Canadian for 36 years this was my first time trying or making a tourtière. Thank you soooo much for the encouragement. The whole family loved it! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
this is my mom s recipe which is mine now it has been in my family for years as long as I can remember. the only différence my mom would not use onions and would use a pinch of cloves not all spice we love it Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My mother was not home for a bit and I couldn't get her to show me again how she makes hers. This one was spot on. I ground my own meat from what we raised and also added a bit of wild game as is our tradition. I forgot the bread crumbs but it turned out just like my mother's. I thank you for sharing this great recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
It was fabulous!!!! I made it exactly as the recipe. I added ground beef as well as the pork. Read More