A Family Tradition: Tourtiere Recipe #HealthyFamilies

tourtiere recipe

Every Christmas eve for as long as I can remember we have always had a special meal: Tourtiere.  If you don’t know what Tourtiere is you are missing out.  It is a traditional Quebec dish, a meat pie made with ground pork and beef.  My Grandmother would make up a large batch and freeze the pies to sell at the church, give to people who had fallen ill, and of course for our family on Christmas Eve.tourtiere recipe

This family tradition continued along perfectly until several years ago.  As my Grandma got older she started to forget things (we didn’t know at the time it was early stage Alzheimer’s), and when she was making the Tourtiere she left the cooked meat at room temperature overnight as she was too tired to make the pastry that day.  If you know anything about food safety, leaving meat – cooked or not – at room temperature for more then 2 hours is a big NO.  Meat should be stored in the fridge at 5oC and reheated to 70oC before serving.  We decided that it was the perfect time for me to learn how to make Tourtiere – partly to act as a supervisor so we would have safe food to eat for Christmas eve and partly to start learning our family recipe.  I am happy to say that I have successfully made Tourtiere every year since for Christmas eve, and I will share our Tourtiere recipe with you.

Little Miss Kate’s Tourtiere Recipe

Ingredientstourtiere recipe
3 lbs Lean Ground Beef – you can also use medium ground beef if you prefer
1 lbs Ground Pork
3 Medium Onions, finely chopped (I do mine in a food processor)
1/2 tsp Sage
3/4 tsp Ground Cloves
3/4 tsp Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Marjoram
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Hot Water
1-2 cups of Bread Crumbs
4 Pastry crusts (top and bottom) – make your own or cheat with Tenderflake like I did

1 – In a pressure cooker or large pot cook Ground Beef and Ground Pork over medium low heat
2 – Once cooked you can drain the excess liquid (I like to remove the extra fat)
3 – Mix in Onions, Cloves, Pepper, Marjoram, and Salt
4 – Add Hot water (reduce volume if you did not drain meat in step 2)tourtiere recipe
5 – Add in bread crumbs a little at a time until most of the liquid as been absorbed, for me this is usually around 1 cup of crumbs
6 – Simmer on low for 15-20 min, then allow meat mixture to cool
7 – Divide meat mixture into pastry crusts, and cover with top layer of pastry. Poke holes to allow for venting.
8 – Use foil to cover edges of of the pie crust to prevent burning
9 – Bake at 350 for 45 mins or until heated through and crust is golden brown. Remove foil for last 10 minutes of baking.

Want an easy meal for later on, you can also freeze the Tourtiere before baking.  Cook from frozen and adjust cooking tine accordingly.

Want to learn more food safety tips?  Visit the Lysol Canada Facebook page or the Hygiene Council to find out how to keep your family healthy & safe in the kitchen.

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol® Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own


  1. says

    We did this too for Xmas Eve. Mom stopped making them a few years back. Maybe next year I will restart the tradition. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  2. says

    Mmmmm…. French Canadian Tortiere! This sounds close to my mom’s recipe, and serve’s a a good reminder that I don’t HAVE said recipe. Maybe it’s time for me to figure out how to make my own, instead of mooching off of her every Christmas, eh?

  3. says

    LOVE this! Growing up in Quebec, tourtiere has always been a part of our holidays! Oh heck…It’s been a part of our every day food repertoire! :) I make it often as well. Now that I’m married to a farmer, the ingredients are always readily available! LOL! I cheat though. I’m the worst pastry/pie crust maker on the planet! Yours looks delish!! Thanks for sharing this!

  4. says

    We do this for Christmas Eve every year as well. It’s taken a while to convince my MIL to stop adding things like veggies and gravy and go back to how her mom use to do it and this year she finally nailed it – well except the one that she just couldn’t help but put mixed veggies in. But the traditional one was bang on and delicious.

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen says

    I’ve never made one of these but I do like plate pies so this is something that I will try. Thanks for the recipe :-)

  6. Anne Taylor says

    I’ve never made nor eaten tourtiere before. I feel very un Canadian at the moment lol

    I think this coming fall I’ll definitely give this a go, thanks for the recipe!

  7. Susan T. says

    I’m not a big meat eater but for some reason I find tourtiere delicious! I’ve never made my own though.

  8. Judy Cowan says

    I have to admit I have only eaten it once but it was really good. I just have never thought of making it, now that I have a recipe I will have to give it a try!

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