French Canadian Tortiere
     Tortiere is a traditional French Canadian dish served on Christmas Eve after returning from church. It is made using lean ground pork. French Canadian sources indicate that pretty well any cooked mashed vegetables that happen to be on hand can be included.
     We like this pie anytime; and we serve it with what my grandfather referred to as "red pickle."  A good 21st century version of "red pickle" is mild, chunky style salsa.
Suggested Serving

The following receipt makes two 8 inch tortieres.
If desired, one (or both) can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen uncooked. 
Thaw and bake at a later date.

The Special Pork Filling
  • 1  1/2 lb. lean ground pork
  • 2 medium onions, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. each salt and savory
  • 1/2 tsp. each allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. each celery seed, cloves, pepper and thyme
  • 1 medium potato, cooked and mashed
  •    In a large, heavy skillet, cook the pork until no longer pink. Stir to break up the meat. Add onion, garlic and spices and cook covered for 15 minutes.
       Skim fat if any and simmer 15 minutes more to dry up some of the liquid. The mixture should be moist but not have much excess liquid on the bottom. 
       Mix in mashed potato and allow to cool a bit while preparing the crust.

    The Pie Crust
    If you use your own receipt or a pie crust mix, try adding 2 tsp. thyme and 1 tsp ground mustard as in our receipt.


    • 3 cups Cake and Pastry flour
    • 1/2 lb Crisco® shortening
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp ground mustard
    • Ice cold water
       Cut the Crisco into flour and salt using a pastry cutter until it is in small pieces 1 to 4 mm in diameter. Add just enough ice cold water, maybe 4 to 8 Tbsp to allow the pastry to hold together.  Use immediately or refrigerate;  don't let it warm up.

       Roll out on wax paper that has been dusted with flour.  This crust is very tender and tends to tear. Wax paper helps getting it into the pie plate in one piece. Patches, if needed, can be made with scraps and "cemented" into place with milk.

    Assemble and Bake the Tortiere
    Make two 8 inch pies. Perhaps sprinkle the bottom of each pie shell with 2 Tbsp dry bread crumbs to absorb any extra moisture. 

    Brush tops with a beaten egg for a shiny glaze as shown in the photo if desired.

    Bake at 425° F for 25 to 35 minutes or until nicely browned. May be frozen and baked later.

    finished tortiere
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    Merry Christmas to all from the Sewell Family