Tourtiere, or Cape Breton Meat Pie, is a Christmas tradition that has been passed down through the generations. It’s a tradition I continue with my family.
Tourtiere is something my Mum always cooked at Christmas, it’s family tradition. Also known as Cape Breton Meat Pie, the recipes vary from family to family. Passed down through generations, this pie always bring a smile to my face.
Every Christmas Eve my Mum would make an Acadian Tourtiere (or meat pie as we like to call it). A lightly spiced and herbed pork pie, wrapped up in a crisp pastry crust. Tradition in our house growing up was that my large family and our friends got together on Christmas Eve. We would gather to exchange and open presents before attending midnight mass. These pies (yes there was always multiple!) would be warmed and we would help ourselves. It was always served with salad and some tart pickles on the side. As we got older and moved away from home my mum still kept us in a supply of meat pies for the festive period. Only once I moved too far away did I begin the tradition of making it myself.
The pork shoulder is mixed with a seasoning called “Poultry Seasoning”. To me its Thanksgiving and Christmas in a jar. You can buy the seasoning on Amazon, but it is quite expensive. I bring back with me on trips home. Poultry seasoning is a blend of savory, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and nutmeg. It’s a versatile seasoning, I’ve used it in both of today’s recipes and it goes well with both poultry and pork.
- 2 large onions (diced)
- 2-3 tbsp poultry seasoning (see post above for more info)
- salt & pepper
- 2-2.5 kg pork shoulder (trimmed)
Hot Water Crust Pastry
- 225 g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 25 ml milk
- 25 ml water
- 75 g lard
- 1 egg (beaten to glaze pie)
- Trim the pork of the rind and any large amounts of fat, leaving some of the fat to flavour and keep the meat moist.
- In a large pan add the pork, diced onions and water to cover half of the pork. When the pork starts to break down (about 1 -2 hours) add the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for a further 1-2 hours, adjusting seasoning to taste and keeping moist with water so as not to dry out or burn.
- The pork is ready when you can break it apart with a fork.
Hot Water Crust Pastry
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt.
- In a small pan measure out the water, milk and lard, warm until the lard melts. Allow to come to the boil and immediately remove from the heat.
- Add the milk mixture to the flour and immediately bring together with a wooden spoon. Take out onto a lightly floured work surface and working quickly cut the dough into 2 portions, one slightly bigger than the other.
- Using the larger piece form into a ball and roll gently to form the bottom of the pie. Place into a 6 inch tart / pie dish and using your hand continue to work the dough up the sides of the pan and just slightly over the edge. As the dough is warm it will be quite pliable.
- Fill the pie with your pork filling and then roll out the lid using the smaller piece of dough already cut. Use an egg wash around the rim of the pie before adding the top to allow the pastry to seal. Crimp the edges to seal and make a small steam hole in the top.
- Brush the egg wash over the pie and bake for 30 minutes in an oven at 180 (160 fan)
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook