Kitchen Tips

How To Make The Best Tourtière, Ever

This impressive but inexpensive meat pie makes the perfect centrepiece at your holiday table.
A Classic Tourtiere with one slice removed, in a post about how to make the best tourtiere. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

This French Canadian meat pie is a holiday classic with a lot of variations. Whether you plan to make our classic Classic Tourtière or our contemporary Tourtière Tart—or a recipe of your own—here are our Test Kitchen's tried-and-true tips for how to make the best tourtière.

Cook the filling early

Tourtière bakes best when a cold filling is added to the pastry shell. It's your best protection against the dreaded soggy crust. Cook your meat filling a day in advance and refrigerate it overnight. (You can also make your pastry in advance, chill it, and roll out as needed.)

Visit the butcher

This pie is pleasantly inexpensive to make, so if you're going to splurge on any part of it—make it the meat. Tourtière calls for ground meat—and not all ground meat is created equal. Visit your butcher and purchase higher quality, freshly ground products.

Use a variety of ground meats

Like meatballs and meatloaf, the best tourtière with the most flavour is made with a combination of meats. Ground pork is a must, but mix in other options such as ground beef, veal, or if you are feeling adventurous, some game meat.

Use lard instead of butter

Although bakers tend to prefer butter pastries, there is still a time and place for lard… and in a tourtière is it. Make your pastry with lard and you will end up with the flakiest, most savoury pastry ever.

Season generously


Don’t be shy with your seasonings. Tourtière recipes call for a lot of spices and seasonings—so be sure to use them. The finished product should be a well-spiced, savoury meat pie. An under-seasoned tourtière will not deliver the same impact on the holiday table.

Check your consistency

Once you have finished cooking your filling, if there's too much liquid (different meats and vegetables give off different amounts of water), dust it lightly with flour and bring it back to a boil to help thicken. (Some moisture is good, but if it’s soppy then your crust will suffer.)

Make your pastry glow

Take the time to create a design for the top crust of your tourtière—such as using cookie cutters to cut out decorative shapes. Also, brush it with a slightly diluted beaten egg to give it a golden brown hue when baked. Sprinkle with some good quality coarse salt for a delightfully crunchy bite.

Serve with something sweet

The ultimate combo—sweet and salty. Serve tourtière with a sweet tomato chutney or a relish to balance the flavour. Mashed potatoes and a crisp green salad will round out the meal perfectly.

Watch how to make Tourtière Tart


Need more holiday inspo? Here are our absolute best recipes for roast turkey and plus every Christmas cookie recipe you’ll ever need.


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