French Meat Pie: The World’s Best Tourtière Recipe

french meat pie

What is the difference between tourtière and meat pie?

A French meat pie, also known as “tourtière,” is a traditional savory pie. It originated in the province of Quebec, Canada. It is typically made with a flaky pastry crust. Then it is filled with a mixture of ground pork, beef, or veal. Next, add onions, garlic, and various spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Some variations include potatoes, carrots, or celery in the filling.

Tourtière is a popular dish during the holiday season in Canada. Of course, it’s enjoyed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It is often served with ketchup, chutney, or relish. They can be enjoyed hot or cold. In addition to Quebec, tourtière is also popular in other parts of Canada. Tourtières are even popular in in some areas of the United States, particularly New England.


What is traditionally served with tourtière?

Tourtière, a traditional French-Canadian meat pie, is often served with a variety of side dishes, depending on the occasion and personal preference. Here are some of the traditional and popular accompaniments to tourtière:

  1. Ketchup: Tourtière is often served with ketchup on the side. The tangy, sweet flavor of ketchup pairs well with the rich, savory flavors of the pie.
  2. Cranberry sauce: Another classic accompaniment to tourtière is cranberry sauce. The tartness of the sauce balances out the richness of the pie, and the bright red color adds a festive touch.
  3. Pickles: Dill pickles or pickled beets are also popular side dishes to serve with tourtière. The acidity and crunch of the pickles complement the savory flavors of the pie.
  4. Green salad: A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing is a refreshing side dish that can balance out the heaviness of the meat pie.
  5. Mashed potatoes: Tourtière can also be served with mashed potatoes, which complement the savory meat filling and soak up any gravy or sauce that is served with the pie.
  6. Peas: A side of peas or green beans can provide some color and texture contrast to the rich, meaty filling of the tourtière.
  7. Baked beans: In some regions, tourtière is served with baked beans, which provide a sweet and savory complement to the meat pie.

Overall, the sides that are traditionally served with tourtière tend to be simple, flavorful dishes that enhance the taste and texture of the meat pie.


What was the original meat in tourtière?

The original meat used in tourtière, a traditional French-Canadian meat pie, is not definitively known, but it is believed that the pie was originally made with a mixture of meats, including game meats such as moose, rabbit, and venison. This is because tourtière originated in the rural areas of Quebec, where hunting was a common activity and meat was often scarce, so hunters would use whatever meat they could obtain.

Over time, the recipe for tourtière evolved, and pork, beef, or veal became the more common meats used in the pie. Today, tourtière recipes may call for a variety of meats, depending on the region and the preferences of the cook. Some recipes may even include seafood, such as salmon or lobster, as an alternative to meat. The key to good tourtière is a flavorful meat filling that is seasoned with a blend of spices and herbs, such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and thyme, to create a unique and delicious flavor profile.


What does tourtière taste like?

Tourtière, a traditional French-Canadian meat pie, has a unique and savory flavor that is often described as hearty and comforting. The flavor of tourtière depends on the type of meat used in the filling, as well as the spices and herbs used to season it. However, most tourtière recipes include a blend of warm spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which give the pie a slightly sweet and aromatic flavor.

The meat filling of tourtière is usually rich and flavorful, with a texture that is slightly chunky and moist. The crust of the pie is typically flaky and buttery, providing a satisfying contrast to the meaty filling.

Overall, the flavor of tourtière is complex and satisfying, with a balance of sweet and savory notes that make it a beloved dish in French-Canadian cuisine. It is often enjoyed during the winter months as a warm and comforting meal, and is frequently served during holiday celebrations, such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve.


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World's Best Tourtière (French Meat Pie)

Here is a recipe for the world's best tourtière, along with the equipment needed to make it, the preparation time, and cooking time.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Hearty


  • Large skillet or frying pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Rolling Pin
  • 9-inch pie dish
  • Pastry brush


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pie crusts homemade or store-bought
  • 1 egg beaten


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a large skillet or frying pan, cook the ground pork and beef over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and thyme to the skillet and stir to combine.
  • Add the beef or chicken broth and breadcrumbs to the skillet and stir until well combined.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Roll out one of the pie crusts to fit a 9-inch pie dish.
  • Place the pie crust in the dish and trim the edges.
  • Pour the meat mixture into the pie crust.
  • Roll out the second pie crust and place it on top of the meat mixture.
  • Pinch the edges of the pie crusts together to seal them.
  • Brush the beaten egg over the top of the pie crust.
  • Use a sharp knife to make a few small slits in the top of the pie crust to allow steam to escape.
  • Bake the tourtière in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.
  • Allow the tourtière to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


Enjoy the world's best tourtière as a main dish for dinner or a special occasion, with your favorite side dishes and accompaniments.


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