This French Canadian meat pie is hearty, satisfying, and easy to make so it's a great choice for a holiday main course. Visually impressive, relatively affordable, and best served at room temperature, so a tourtiere doesn't require any kind of precise timing.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
1 hr 52 mins
additional:
3 mins
total:
2 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
1 (9-inch) pie
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Crust:
Spice Blend:
Filling:
Egg Wash:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place flour, salt, and frozen butter slices into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off until butter is about the size of peas, about 30 seconds. Stir vinegar into cold water; drizzle water/vinegar into the flour mixture. Pulse on and off until mixture is crumbly and holds together when you pinch a piece off, about 10 seconds. If dough isn't pressing together, drizzle in another teaspoon of water.

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  • Transfer mixture to a work surface. Press it together until it becomes a lump of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

  • Mix salt, pepper, thyme, sage, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mustard, clove, and cayenne together in a small bowl.

  • Place potato quarters in a saucepan; cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Scoop out potatoes and transfer to a bowl; save cooking liquid. Mash potatoes with a potato masher.

  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook and stir until onions turn golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Stir garlic, celery, and spice blend into the skillet with onions. Stir until onion mixture is evenly coated with the spices, about 30 seconds. Add ground beef and ground pork. Ladle about 3/4 cup of the potato cooking liquid into the skillet.

  • Cook and stir until meat is browned and has a very fine, almost pastelike texture. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes. Stir in mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • Divide chilled dough into 2 pieces, one just slightly larger than the other. Roll the larger piece out into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface. Place in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Roll top crust out into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Cut small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.

  • Fill bottom crust with the meat mixture; smooth out the surface. Whisk egg and water together to make egg wash. Brush edges of the bottom crust with egg wash. Place top crust on the pie and press lightly around the edges to seal. Trim excess dough from the crust. Crimp the edges of the crust. Brush entire surface of the pie with egg wash.

  • Place in preheated oven. Bake until well browned, about 1 hour. Let cool to almost room temperature before serving.

Chef's Notes:

You can also easily tailor this to your own tastes, since other than the ground meat and mashed potato, pretty much anything goes.

I may try this next time with beef gravy, as a few of my Canadian friends have suggested. Another suggestion was some ketchup which I tried on a cold slice, and it was delicious.

Nutrition Facts

663 calories; protein 26.9g; carbohydrates 47.3g; fat 40.5g; cholesterol 159.2mg; sodium 1074mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (78)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2017
I made this; the only change I made was to use all lean ground beef (didn't have any ground pork on hand and couldn't wait to make it!). The whole family raved and went back for seconds. If you are the kind of cook who aggressively salts the water when cooking potatoes, you may want to be careful about how much salt you add to the water in this recipe--you'll be adding that potato cooking water to the meat mixture which already has a good amount of salt in it thanks to the spice mix. This was such a hit, I'm making 4 more to freeze to enjoy during the holidays. Chef John is my hero! Read More
(24)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/15/2018
Followed the recipe - far too salty. I will make it again, but adjust the salt. Read More
(4)
101 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 82
  • 4 star values: 15
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2017
I made this; the only change I made was to use all lean ground beef (didn't have any ground pork on hand and couldn't wait to make it!). The whole family raved and went back for seconds. If you are the kind of cook who aggressively salts the water when cooking potatoes, you may want to be careful about how much salt you add to the water in this recipe--you'll be adding that potato cooking water to the meat mixture which already has a good amount of salt in it thanks to the spice mix. This was such a hit, I'm making 4 more to freeze to enjoy during the holidays. Chef John is my hero! Read More
(24)
Rating: 4 stars
01/14/2019
I'm from Quebec and i agree this recipe is pretty spot on. However, skip the cayenne pepper, it has no business here. Made it without it and they came out perfect, well worth the effort and a great holiday treat, family was raving about it and agreed the spice was right (without the cayenne). Do not substitute from the kosher salt, used sea salt once and it didn't come out as it should have. I always used the Pillsbury ready crusts, time saver and just as good. Read More
(18)
Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2017
Well I did what no one should EVER do and I prepared this recipe for the first time ever for my family Winter Solstice dinner. It turned out perfect (and I even had my Canadian b'friend there who gave it the stamp of approval) and everyone loved it. Very filling and tasty. The crust was magnificent and I will NEVER make another kind of pie crust. I won't say that I won't ever use premade again because I can foresee that happening if I need it in a hurry but if you follow Chef John's directions you will feel like a pastry chef when it's complete! I wish I had made a picture. Next time! Read More
(9)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/19/2017
Delicious! I used pillsbury prerolled crust to save time. I grated one carrot into the meat mixture while cooking. Other than that I followed the recipe. Reminds me of my Nan’s. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2018
I made this exactly to the recipe. We loved it. It was so flavorful with all the different spices in it. Served with macaroni and cheese. I made the filling and the dough the night before to break up the work a little bit. I m glad I did. Will definitely make this again. Update: Oh my heavens it is even better the second day. When I had mad the filling the night before I thought that would be a better flair( ususally us in any recipe) but the next day was incredible. My husband said can we try more Canadian food? to which I had a good chuckle. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2018
The spices are great and they give the meat pie a bit of tang. I cooked ground beef and ground turkey together. Added 2 large onions chopped to the meat mixture, which I covered with water and boiled for 20 minutes until all meat and onions were cooked. I then strain the meat and liquid. I put the liquid in the fridge so the fat comes to the top, I then scrape the fat off and thicken the liquid (make a gravy). I add the meat to the pie shell and then add the gravy to the pie, enough to make it wet but not runny, I did not use potatoes.. I really only used the spices and then made my pie the way my mother taught me. I am Canadian and love meat pie. I make my own crust with Tenderflake lard. Delicious. I may put them in tart shells. Makes a more individual serving. Delicious. A real treat. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 3 stars
11/15/2018
Followed the recipe - far too salty. I will make it again, but adjust the salt. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2018
I used a mix of beef, pork and veal and to save some time I used pre-made crust. It was really good. My husband loved it! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2018
I made this with my not so great baking skills. The pie crust was easy and Soooo good. The recipe was outstanding. My husband loved it and so did I. The spices were very unusual but the flavor was absolutely amazing. I'll never try another pie crust this was so good. Today a pie crust tomorrow perhaps a cake!!!!!! Read More
(3)
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