Mme Benoit's Tourtière

"Tourtière is a French Canadian meat pie which is traditionally served at Christmas. It may be made from pork, beef or a combination of meats sometimes including veal. Different regions in Quebec have their own traditional recipes. Some regions use game such as hare or duck rather than beef and pork. The pies should not have too much filling as they are just a part of the whole traditional Christmas dinner. It's usually served with tomato ketchup. This recipe is the creation of Mme Jehane Benoit, a famous Quebec cooking expert who received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian cuisine. I found this recipe on and on where it was posted by Lizzy Ferland. It is originally from the Canadiana Cookbook."
photo by Dreamer in Ontario photo by Dreamer in Ontario
photo by Dreamer in Ontario
Ready In:
1hr 15mins
1 pie


  • 1 lb ground beef (or combination of beef and pork, or beef, pork & veal)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon celery salt
  • 14 teaspoon clove, ground (a must for authentic Quebecois pie)
  • 12 cup water
  • 14 - 12 cup breadcrumbs
  • pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie, of your choice


  • Place all ingredients except breadcrumbs and pastry in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add a 3 or 4 spoonfuls of breadcrumbs.
  • Let mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • If the fat is sufficiently absorbed by the breadcrumbs, do not add more. If not, add more crumbs in the same manner.
  • Cool mixture and spoon into a pastry-lined pie plate.
  • Cover with crust and bake at 400F until golden brown (follow directions for pie crust you chose).
  • Serve hot.
  • NOTE: Cooked tourtière may be frozen for 4 to 5 months and does not need to be thawed before reheating.
  • To reheat, place your frozen tourtiere (covered in foil) in a medium oven and bake until a knife inserted in the center is hot when you pull it out.

Questions & Replies

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  1. My late husband was French Canadian so I lived in Quebec almost 50 years. Mme Benoit's tourtiere recipe is the one I've been using all these years and I still have to make it for my children and grandchildren for every holiday meal when I visit them in Quebec. I make mine with pure pork only. As ground meats today have little or no fat in them, I always ask the butcher to add some to the pork when he grinds it. Makes the pies more moist and more flavorful.
  2. I do not have the Canadiana Cookbook but I do have Madame Benoit Cooks <br/>At Home. The pastry recipe is: 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, pinch of turmeric, 1/4 tsp savory, 1/2 cup lard, 1/3 cup ice water, 1/3 cup butter. Stir the flour, salt baking soda, turmeric and savory together in a bowl. Cut in lard with a pastry blender or two knives until the particles are about the size of peas. Add ice water by the tablespoon, stirring with a fork or the tips of your fingers, until just enough has been added so that you can pat the dough lightly into a ball. (Since flour varies, you may not need all of the water). Handle the dough as little as possible at this stage. Roll out the pastry, dot with the butter, and roll up toward you like a jelly roll, and roll out again in a flat sheet. Roll out again 2-3 times. Refrigerate a few hours before using. <br/><br/>In my cookbook the recipe calls for 2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated.
  3. In Mrs. Benoit's 1963 version of tourtiere... is made ONLY with pork. The recipe also calls for celery pepper (not celery salt), which I have researched and is only available in finer food/gourmet shops in Quebec....OR.... you cam make your own which is 2 parts celery powder (not seeds) & 1 part pepper. I am French Quebecois by ancestry. My mother used to make this traditional holiday staple with ragout de boulette (pork meat balls in gravy) and patte de cochon (pigs feet). So delicious!
  4. This is a great pie but I wonder why you didn't include the pastry recipe since it is important to stay true to the authenticity of the entire pie. I"ve made this pie for many years and lost my Canadiana cookbook and I cannot remember the pastry recipe. If anyone has the book I would be grateful to get the pastry recipe
  5. Mme Benoit's edipes are, as always, tried, true and absolutely delicious. This pie is no exception.



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