My Memere's Tourtière

My Memere (term for a French Canadian grandmother) always made meat pie (tourtière) for the holidays. It was one of the most sought after courses by my relatives. Tourtière is a québécois recipe that definitely varies from family to family, and they all use different types of meats, fillings, and preparation methods.

I was lucky enough to learn this recipe while my grandmother was still alive, and I still had to figure out my own path for it. Family recipes are always very touch and go: "just add some cinnamon" vs "add 1 teaspoon" -- and I think I've figured it out in a way that I can replicate consistently year over year.

Over time, family and friends have asked me for Memere's recipe, so I figured it's time to put it on here for the world to see.

Ingredients #

Makes 4

  • Dough
    • I use Pre-made pie crusts from Pillsbury, or Publix equivalent (4 packages)
    • Enough dough for top and bottom crusts for 4 pies.
  • 4 cups water (roughly)
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1.75 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large yellow onion

Instructions #

Round 1 #

  1. Chop onions small
  2. Add meat, spices and onions to pot, with just enough water to almost entirely cover ingredients (~4 cups). Cook for 20-25 minutes on high.
    • Water should be salty light-ish brown.
  3. While boiling, chop up potatoes to "home fry" size /(1 inch max?)/
  4. Once meat is boiled, add potatoes to pot. Cook until potatoes are very soft.
  5. Turn off stove, mash heavily, and cool down

Round 2 #

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. Make pies.
  3. Cut top dough to let air escape
  4. Place in oven and cook until top is flaky brown. (~35 min for 2 pies)