EASY AS PIE: Tourtière Explained

 

Traditional meat pie on a dish

While it may seem foreign to some, tourtière is as Canadian as maple syrup, hockey or poutine. A classic Quebecois dish, tourtière is a staple at holiday meals across much of northeastern North America. Sweet or fruity pies may be more common or universal, but tourtière continues a long-standing Western tradition of savoury meat pies. Expand you or your family’s horizons by making or heating up a tourtière at your next family feast.

Getting hungry? Read on for D’Arcy’s go-to guide to tourtière!

The BASICS

Fundamentally, tourtière is a pie that contains meat and spices baked into a golden, flaky crust. Tourtière can be made fresh, but is often made in advance and frozen until ready to bake. The meat is generally diced or ground; including any or all of pork, veal, beef and wild game. Other less common variations include fish (salmon) or leaner meats (poultry), while bold seasoning is the rule for all varieties.

THE HISTORY

Named after its original baking dish, tourtière first appears in records dating back to early 17th-century Quebec. Tourtière was originally a favourable way to make use of less desirable cuts of meat, but the modern dish has evolved into something that can be found from gourmet tables to deli freezers. New Year’s Eve and Christmas are the traditional occasions to serve tourtière, but it makes a hearty meal all year round.

THE TYPES

Sagenay-Lac-Saint-Jean & Eastern Quebec tourtières feature cubed meat (of all kinds) along with potatoes, set in a deep-dish crust. They are the most popular varieties in Quebec.

Montreal tourtière contains only fine-ground pork and is seasoned with cinnamon and cloves. It is the most common and popular variety outside of Quebec.

Manitoba tourtière owes its heritage to the Francophone communities of rural Manitoba. Unlike other varieties, the meat is browned beforehand and mustard is the most common condiment.

Acadian tourtière is also known as ‘pâté à la viande,’ containing primarily pork combined with other available meats. It is highly regional and specific to the Maritime provinces.

Do you want to tout your own tourtière? Contact or visit D’Arcy’s Meat Market today, our experts can handle any order. Whether you’re crimping your own crust this Christmas or you need a pile of pies to power a platoon… D’Arcy’s can help!

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