Saturday, December 21, 2013

French Canadian Tortiere

It was love at first bite!
My dear friend Cathy introduced me to this classic
 Canadian Christmas dish a few years ago and I 
have since adopted it into my traditions as well. 
I lived in Canada as  a little girl (Niagara Falls), 
so it seemed a nice nod to those Canadian 
Christmas memories from childhood. 
We didn't make tortiere, but I can now!
Tortiere is a savory pork main dish pie. 
It's traditionally served around holiday time, 
particularly in Quebec on Christmas Eve.
 It has complex flavors and fills your home with
 the most wonderful aroma.
 I needed to borrow the 1/4 t mace
from a tennis friend. It's a lot like
nutmeg, but I wanted to follow Cathy's
recipe exactly.
 Just mash the cooked potatoes adding
  nothing to them. They will go into
 the cooked pork.
 I made my own pie crust, but you can
buy ready-made and use that.
 Once the meat mixture has cooled, add it
to the pie and cover the top with crust.
Cut in a vent. I have a tin of holiday shapes
 that I get to use for just such an occasion.
 Ready for the oven.
 Time to  make the mushroom gravy.
Saute seasoned mushrooms in a little butter.
Add your favorite brown gravy mix and add
 a little extra water than instructed so that
 it's not too thick. Use at least
2 packets...maybe 3 if you
are gravy lovers, (and who isn't?).
 Out of the oven when golden.
Slice into 6-8 portions.
 Serve with mushroom gravy,
scalloped potatoes (they bake along in the oven),
green salad, or vegetable.
Don't you just LOVE family traditions,
both old and new!
Here's Cathy's recipe. YUM!

French Canadian Tortiere
1-1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 C boiling water
1 can consomme soup
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 t salt
1/4 t each: mace, sage, pepper
pinch ground cloves
3 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed, boiled, mashed

In a saucepan thoroughly combine all ingredients
except potatoes. Stir frequently over low heat,
cooking until pork looses it's pink color and the
liquid is reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Boil and mash potatoes. Add to meat mixture and
let cool. Line a deep dish pie pan with crust. Fill
with the meat mixture and cover with top crust.
Seal edges and flute. Carve a Christmas tree or star
on top to vent. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then
reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for another
45  minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.
Serve with mushroom gravy and scalloped or
mashed potatoes, vegetable and/or salad.

You can use refrigerated pre-made crust or make your own.

Pie Crust
2-1/2 C flour
1/2 t salt
3/4 C shortening
4-5 T ice cold water
Combine the flour and salt in a food processor
Pulse to combine. Add the Crisco and pulse on/off
about 15-30 times, until blended.
With machine running, drizzle in
enough ice water just until it begins to
 hold together. Divide dough in half, and
shape into flatted disks. Wrap in plastic,
chill at least 1 hour or up to 3 days or
frozen for up to 1 month.
 Roll out on a floured surface.
Enough for a double crust pie or 
two shells. 



  1. This looks like something I'm going to try next week. Our family celebration is today (why am I on the web??) so I'll do this soon. How do you pronounce this?

  2. Looks like something the guys in my family would like. Thanks for sharing! Our tradition is making many varieties of cookies. Everyone enjoys the numerous types at any holiday gathering.
    Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

  3. Hi - my husband's grandma used oatmeal instead of potatoes and my mom used half pork, half beef. Both ladies were French Canadians. Great food - and better heated up the next day.

  4. G'day! Rita! Your photos and recipe looks warm and welcoming, true!
    Wish could come through the screen and try some now too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  5. My fathers family is French and we grew-up eating Tortiere every Christmas Eve. Our pie is made of pork, seasonings and bread crumbs. There are many recipies and I'm sure each one is wonderful. My meat is cooked, seasonings adjusted and Monday I'll put the pies together. Merry Christmas to all.

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  7. The crust and the mushroom are promising, is it possible for me to substitute the pork with only chicken? Thank you. Regards

  8. I am too late for Christmas, but New Year sounds fine! Ground pork is different from mild breakfast sausage?