How to Really Satisfy Your {French-Canadian} Man

Got your attention, didn’t I?

Seriously gals, if your husband is French-Canadian, as mine is, this one thing may just be the best thing you do for your marriage: learn to make tourtieres.  And I’m here to help you with that.  And if your husband isn’t French-Canadian, I’m pretty sure that he’ll still love this pie.

A tourtiere is a meat pie.  And there are as many ways to make meat pie as there are memeres (grandmothers) to hand down the recipe.  Traditionally made with just ground pork, I prefer a mixture of pork, veal and beef.  It makes a very tasty and tender filling.  Tourtiere can be served at any meal – as the main dish, or as a side dish.  It is beautiful for breakfast, and lovely with a garden salad for lunch.  At Christmas, we serve it as a side dish.  And then again at Easter.  Here’s the one I make:


Tourtiere (makes 2 pies)

  • 3 lb. ground meat (1 lb each pork, veal, and beef)
  • 3 lb potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed (reserve some of your potato water)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 T poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp. ground cloves
  • Impossibly Flaky Pie Crust (or your fave recipe)

Sauté onions in a bit of oil until quite soft, add the ground meat and spices.  Cook until the meat is done.  Add your potatoes and mix well, adding potato water if needed to keep the mixture smooth.  Set aside to cool completely.


Impossibly Flaky Pie Crust

The trick of the crust is to keep it COLD until you bake.  People will tell you that you can’t get a flaky crust with butter.  Totally untrue.  Keep it cold, and you’re golden.  I use my fingers to flake my butter and still get a fantastically flaky crust.  If that idea scares you a little, get that butter near freezing and grate it in order to get small, blend-able bits.  You can absolutely use a gluten free AP flour mix for this.  Gorgeous.  Divine.  No worries about tough crust – ever.

  • 2 1/2 c. butter, cubed or shredded
  • 6 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c. ice water

Mix all of the dry ingredients together really well.  You want something that looks like wet pebbly beach sand – the kind of stuff you could pack into a pail and make a castle with.  Now add your ice-water (leave the ice cubes out!).  Mix by hand or with an electric mixer until the whole lot holds together in one big piece.  Divide dough in half and form each into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap or butcher paper and place in the coldest part of your fridge while you wait for the filling to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 450° F  Cut each disc in half and roll out to fit your pie plate.  Line two plates with dough, then fill right to the top with your meat filling.  Roll out remaining dough to top your pies.  Brush water onto the edge of your bottom crust so that the top will stick right down.  Flute or crimp your edge, and put a couple of steam holes in the top crust.  At this point, you can brush on an egg wash  before putting your pies into the oven.  But after you’ve made this the first time, you’d better be quick about it because he’s going to be impatient for those tourtieres! 

Bake at 450° F for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350° F and bake a further 30 minutes.  Serve them hot from the oven, or at room temperature.  Alternately, you can make these into little turnovers and pop them into his lunch box.  He’ll go a little crazy.  You may get flowers.



Bon appetit!