On Sunday evening I made something that I believe is a Québécois Christmas tradition, a tourtière, a pork pie.

I used about as simple a recipe as I could manage. I put about a pound and a half of coarsely-chopped pork and beef, two potatoes, mashed, in a pie crust, seasoned with mace, allspice, black pepper, and a bit of garlic. Bake for about an hour.

The original recipe called for grinding the meat but I decided that chopping the meat into approximately eighth inch dice would provide a nicer texture. And the original recipe called for a teaspoon of nutmeg. I substituted mace and allspice to give it a bit of a medieval quality. I also reduced the quantity of spice a trifle. A teaspoon of nutmeg (or mace) can be pretty overpowering.

It was quite tasty and, as you might imagine, filling. Good cold the next day and especially good with mustard and pickles.

The pie could serve eight gourmets with, say, a salad and cheese course or four gourmands.

3 comments… add one
  • steve Link

    Our church always has a Christmas concert, one that features festive medieval music, usually by members of the Baltimore Consort if you are familiar with them. Afterwards, we get together in our hall and celebrate with (mostly) period food. The wife always makes a seed cake, one flavored with just seeds, and I make a savory dish, usually individual meat pies (modified pasties), though this year I made a pottage of pork, fennel and apples (with some carrots for color). Do you think this would work for smaller, individual pies? Did you brown the pork first? I like the idea of chopped rather than ground, so I would definitely do that.


  • Yes, I browned it first. And I see no reason that individual pies wouldn’t work. Those would basically be pasties.

  • steve Link

    Thanks. I think you are probably a bit more accomplished cook than I, so just wanted your opinion. I will experiment. This should be tasty and should let me stretch the pork a bit. Hand dicing 15-20 pounds of pork gets tedious, so the potatoes will eliminate some of that.


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