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Canadian pork pie

What's The Big Idea?

This dish is traditionally served on Christmas Eve, and is believed to have originated in the Québec area. The tradition gradually "expanded", so that tourtière is now enjoyed throughout much of Canada and at any time during the Christmas holiday season, not just on Christmas Eve, and indeed at other times of the year too.

Basically, tourtière is a meat pie; lightly spiced minced pork between layers of flaky pastry, served with a few boiled potatoes and maybe a green salad or steamed green vegetables. It can be enjoyed warm or cold, for brunch, lunch, or dinner and makes a great half-time snack!

Tourtière can be made up to 2 days in advance and reheated.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • For the pastry:
    • 250g plain flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 110g unsalted butter or margarine
    • 110g vegetable shortening (e.g. Flora white or Cookeen in the UK, Crisco in the USA)
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing
  • For the filling:
    • 250g potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 750g minced pork, or a combination of minced pork, veal and beef
    • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
    • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • Pinch of allspice
    • Pinch of ground cloves
    • Pinch of ground cinnamon
    • Pinch of ground nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
    • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
    • 230ml apple cider

What To Do

  • Mix the flour and salt together. Cut in the butter/margarine and vegetable shortening until the mixture is a roughly even crumbly texture
  • Add the lemon juice and just enough water until the dough comes together
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, make the filling
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain, mash and set aside to cool
  • Fry the meat in a large frying pan over a medium heat until browned. Drain off any excess fat
  • Add the onions, carrots, herbs, spices and seasonings to the pan and fry for a further 10 minutes
  • Add the cider and bring up to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed
  • Remove from heat, stir in the potatoes and allow to cool to room temperature
  • Preheat the oven to 375F/190C
  • On a lightly floured surface, cut the dough in half, and roll each half out into a circle just less than 5mm thick
  • Use one half to line a 20 cm springform pie tin. Fill with the filling
  • Cut a hole in center of the second half of the dough, to allow steam to escape. Place on top of the pie
  • Pinch the edges of the crust together and brush with beaten egg
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is a rich golden brown
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pie tin and serve

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