Christmas Eve Tortiere


French Canadian Tortiere.
 This is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.   The sides may vary but the pie is always the same.
Moe would be happy with just the Tortiere but Matthew and I want mashed potatoes and gravy with ours.
For the past 7 years or so my friend Sharon (Chase from the Gardenweb Cooking forum) and a fellow Canadian, has sent Moe a jar of her homemade Chili sauce.  This is his favourite accompaniment to the Tortiere and one that he looks forward to. Thank you Sharon.
I got up early Thursday morning and made the filling for the pies before driving down to Victoria to pick up our son Matthew.  We were back home in time for me to make a double batch of   pastry dough before leaving for work.  With both of those prep jobs out of the way baking the pies after I got home from work was easy.

This filling is for one pie.  I usually triple the ingredients and make three at a time.  I bake all of the pies and when cold freeze.

pastry to two crust pie.

1 large onion chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons oil or butter
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 pounds of ground pork
1 cup gravy or stock (saved from turkey or pork)
2 russet potatoes (par boiled)
2 Tablespoons chopped celery leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme,
1/2 teaspoon rosemary (or more)
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice, more to taste

Saute the onion in oil until transparent, add the garlic and saute for one minute and then add the ground pork.  Cook until the meat is brown.  Add 1/2 cup stock or gravy and cover pan and simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425°F

Uncover pan and reduce liquid to 2 or 3 tablespoons.  Add the seasonings and stir to blend.Adjust seasonings to taste.   Add potatoes and add enough additional gravy to moisten.  Should not be to wet.

Spoon filling into pastry shell.  Use egg glaze on along overhand. Place crust on top and trim.  Fold the top edge under the bottom and crimp edge.  Brush with egg glaze and decorate with extra pastry if desired.  Sprinkle with Coarse salt.

Bake in the lower third of oven for 15 minutes and then raise to the middle shelf, lower heat to 350 and continue to bake until golden brown. About 45 to 55 minutes.

Butter-Lard Pastry
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup lard (or shortening- Crisco)
5 to 6 tablespoons of ice water

For sweet pies add 1 to 2 teaspoons white sugar.

Mix flour with salt, and cut in butter and lard.

An easy way to cut in the fat is to use a food Processor.  Cut the butter and lard into cubes add to the flour and pulse.  Butter/lard should be the size of peas.  Pour mixture into a bowl and add the ice water, mixing quickly with a fork, just until the dough comes together.  Turn out on to floured board and form into a ball.  Cut into two pieces, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

Another way to cut into the butter is to use a box grater. Makes the perfect size pieces of butter.  Just make sure that the butter is very cold.

NOTE:  This crust is also perfect made with all butter.

Edited:  May/2009

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Unknown says:

    This looks delicious. I do something similar…not for christmas, but I make just a bottom crust and then top with mashed potatoes…it definitely isn't diet food!Merry Christmas

  2. I think that may be the prettiest tortiere you've ever made!! It looks and sounds delicious, Ann. I'd love to make this next weekend!!

  3. Memória says:

    Your tourtière is really beautiful. Happy a happy new year and happy holidays!

  4. I remembered the first time I met a French Canadian and asked him about the national dish in Quebec; he described the tourtière \”en long et en large\”; I was so intrigued. I still have never tasted it but I am still curious! Great photos!

  5. It looks gorgeous..I am sure Matthew thinks he is the luckiest son alive:)

  6. Katy ~ says:

    I have had a tourtiere once, years ago, made from Gourmet or Bon Appetite. I think your recipe is a whole lot nicer!

  7. Linda says:

    yummmmmmmm…this looks so good…I will have to try this…it looks delicious!Merry Christmas Ann!

  8. Kathy Walker says:

    This looks delicious! I love learning about everybody's holiday traditions. I believe this is one I will have to try out. It is nice to know that there are some make ahead steps! Thank you!

  9. Lori E says:

    Tourtiere was a family tradition for me growing up.I was at a friend's home on Wednesday night and saw one of your cutting boards on her counter. They are so recognizable and beautiful.

  10. It must be delicous. It's fantastic christmas table. Lovely!!

  11. Ann, it's such a lovely Christmas Eve tradition ~ and yours is one of the prettiest tourtiere I've ever seen. Lucky, lucky family!!

  12. Sarah says:

    Lovely tortiere! And, yes, I would have mashed potatoes and gravy, too.

  13. Unknown says:

    Looks great Would love the recipe for that chili sauce

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