Recipe makes TWO French Canadian Meat Pies
For French Canadian Meat Stuffing – Make half the recipe.
If you prefer having extra stuffing, prepare recipe as written. Warm in a covered casserole.
Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies – Christmas 2016 According to my sons (and my twin brother) these were the best pies yet!
This recipe is my mother’s mother’s and has been handed down for from mother to daughter for who-knows-how long. (My grandmother (Memere in French, but we called her Grammy) was born in Quebec in the late 1880’s. She and her family moved to Boston when she was young. Of course our family thinks our handed-down recipe is ‘The Best French Canadian Meat Pie’.. but everyone believes their family recipe to be The Best! Today most recipes call for a mixture of ground beef and pork. In the Old Days, Tourtiere could be made using pork, beef, rabbit or other game, or, possibly, a mixture of different meats – whatever was available.
French Canadian Meat Pie – or Tourtiere – recipes can vary quite a bit from family to family – and each family believes theirs to be the best!! I’ve found it extremely interesting just how many variations there are between different family recipes. My mother’s family uses ground pork, potatoes, onions – plus salt & pepper. My husband’s family only uses hamburger, onions, salt & pepper and a bit of cloves. And an aunt on my father’s side puts crushed cracker crumbs in her meat pies instead of potatoes. I’ve found it doesn’t matter whose recipe you follow – to me, they’re all delicious!
“à chacun son goût” – – ‘To each his own taste”
As far as seasonings go, except for salt & pepper, most of the flavor in Grammy Brouillette’s recipe comes from the ground pork, potato and onion mixture. My mother and my Grammy never added any spices, but I like to add a bit of poultry seasoning (Bell’s). Some meat pie recipes call for a bit of allspice, cloves or mace. Feel free to add/adjust seasonings to suit your own family’s tastes. And – if you’re lucky enough to live in Quebec – you can buy Meat Pie Seasoning!
Meat Pie is traditionally served on Christmas Eve (Réveillon) and New Year’s Eve. Our family still continues that time-honored tradition, and we look forward to it every year. I usually make four pies – two for Christmas Eve and one for each of my twin sons to take home. (And this year I’m going to ‘try’ to be organized and make the pies ahead and then freeze them.)
Joyeux Noel et une Bonne Année !!
Oven at 400 F
Ingredients & Method
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (About 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 1/2 lbs. ground pork ++ If you prefer, substitute ground beef for ground pork. Buy 80% lean. ++ You also have the option to use half ground beef & half ground pork.
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning – I like Bell’s. ++ If desired, add a bit of allspice .. or a bit of mace .. or a bit of ground cloves.
- crust enough for TWO pies – – – – – – 2 top crusts & 2 bottoms crusts
- one beaten egg – to spread on the 2 top crusts
– – – –
In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in a few inches of water until fully cooked. Once cooked. drain and mash. (Don’t add any butter or milk !!) Set aside.
In a large frying pan, cook the ground pork and onions until the pork is no longer pink and the onions have become fully cooked – perhaps 10 minutes or so. While cooking the pork and onions, break up the pork so you have crumbles and not hunks. (If you don’t have a big enough frying pan, cook the pork and onions in two batches.)
Mix the cooked, mashed potatoes in with the pork/onion mixture. Add 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. At this point my mother used to, using a potato masher, “mash” down the mixture a bit to incorporate the potatoes into the pork/onion mixture.
If you wish, at this point, add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning (I like Bell’s)… or a bit of allspice .. or a bit of mace .. or a bit of ground cloves – or any combination you chose. (Feel free to adjust salt, pepper & spices to taste.)
How easy has this been – and you’re almost done! Divide your pie filling equally between the TWO pie-crust lined pie plates. Cover each with the 2nd crust.
Crimp the edges of the pie crust with your fingers or with a fork.
++ Here’s a video which shows you how to ‘crimp’ a pie crust. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJRY1vdCMkQ
++ If you’re feeling really creative – here’s a video showing how to make ‘fancy’ crimps! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcQGja6jpbE
Spread SOME of the beaten egg onto each crust, using your fingers (my personal choice!) or with a bit of paper towel. (This isn’t necessary, but it does give the crust a lovely, golden look!!)
Bake at 400F for about 30 – 40 minutes. The crust should be a nice golden brown and the filling should be nice and hot. Enjoy !
++ If planning to make pies a few days ahead – – Bake pies for only 25 minutes at 400F. Allow pies to cool. Cover with foil and refrigerate. To Reheat Pre-Baked Pies – remove foil. Bake pies at 350F for 30 – 40 minutes, until thoroughly heated through.
How to Freeze Prepared Pies
Below are two different directions concerning ‘freezing Meat Pies’. One set of directions comes from my Uncle George and the other comes from my Godmother, my Aunt Yvonne – both of whom ‘inherited’ the recipe from my grandmother.
You chose if you want to cook the pies & then freeze them – or freeze them without baking them.
++ A few tips from my Uncle George – How to Freeze UNBAKED Meat Pies ++
Based on my grandmother’s directions (according to my uncle) you do NOT have to bake the pies before you freeze them!! ++ Cover the unbaked pies with foil and freeze them. While still frozen (but with foil removed) bake the pies at 400F degree for 25 minutes. Then lower heat to 350F and continue to bake pies until crusts are browned and pie(s) are heated through.
++ A few tips from my Aunt Yvonne – How to Freeze PRE-BAKED Pies ++
++ If planning to freeze the pies, bake them for only 25 minutes at 400F. Allow pies to cool, then cover with foil and place them in the freezer.
++ To Reheat – Allow pies to thaw in the refrigerator, then bake (with foil removed) at 350F for 30 – 40 minutes, until thoroughly heated through.
Enjoy – – Bon Appetit !!
32 thoughts on “Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pie (Also known as Tourtière) – – Filling Can Be Used as a Stuffing”
Small world. I found this via Pinterest. Your “Grandmere” and I share the same last name. My ancestors ended up in Louisiana. The meat pie you grew up with ended up morphing into two very different things here. First is the “Natchitoches Meat Pie” which is a hand or pocket pie. The other is what we cook sometimes, which is something we call “Cajun Country Pork Soutashe”. In that dish, we cook half pork and half beef down with white or yellow onions, then add spices, including sage and parsley, then melt down a block of cream cheese into it. We don’t add potatoes into the meat mixture. The mixture is then allowed to cool, and then used as a filling for a dough wrap much like one would do for beef wellington. The loaf is then baked until the dough has browned. A “cheat” is to use Pillsbury crescent roll dough. Since we started making this, we’ve used spiced and smoked poke sausage from Rice’s in Tennessee. https://www.ricescountryhams.com/product-category/sausage/
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So sorry I haven’t reply earlier. I haven’t been feeling well for a few years – but I’m hoping I can once again start posting here on My Yellow Farmhouse. I very much enjoyed reading your comment. I love Louisiana & have visited there several times. I’m gonna head over to your blog and check out your “soutache”. Tell me – are there a good amount of Brouillettes in Louisiana? Except for my mother’s extended family I’ve never met anyone else with that surname.
Hi, could you tell me what size pie dish you used? Is it a deep dish?
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Please accept my apology for not replying for so long – I’ve been ill for a few years.
The meat pie filling can be put in either a deep dish of a regular pie pan. 😉
So no recipe for the pie crust? Family secret?
I was so excited to have found your site! I have been looking for a pork stuffing recipe like my grandmother used to make. She passed when I was younger and due to family conflict the one aunt with the recipe won’t share but yours is almost identical ingredient wise including the optional cloves! Thank you so very much!!!!
I’m sooo happy that my family’s recipe is so similar to your family’s — but can NOT believe your aunt wouldn’t share the recipe.. Sending you a Cyber Hug😉!!
Family drama lol! Thank you for sharing these great and hard to find recipes for us! 🤗😁
Sadly … I lost my aunt’s recipe for Sugar Pie etc… Broke my heart. Luckily one of my sons had my cretons recipe!! 😥
I haven’t thought about sugar pie in YEARS! I will have to see if I can find grams recipe to share with you.
First time I’ve come across anyone who uses the meat pie for stuffing. My Mother did not make the pies but our 25+ lb, Thanksgiving & Christmas Turkeys were always stuffed with the filling!.. Her Mother (Ma Mere)s. Recipe, hamburger, saltines, Bells Seasoning, salt + pepper, onions, celery & her magic. Barb & I have been trying to recreate for 20+ years. Just Hubs & I now & I’m now allergic to turkey. So this year I decided on Tortierre for our Christmas dinner, & Onion/
Mushroom Gravy, a Yam & Apple Casserole, & Steamed Asparagus, Hubs requested spiced Pumpkin Pie for dessert. We are doing it for NYD since we both felt lousy on Christmas. Hard to create new traditions. I’m serving Cranberry Orange Relish that does blend well. Can’t have ketchup , never have understood the combination any how. Got the gravy idea from a group of Canadian ladies in Lowell met over the subject of Tortierre on the King Arthur blog last summer. Glad to see & grab the link to your Ma Mere’s Recipe. Happy New Years MA & Hubs, Boston, MA.1-1-19 ❤️🙃❤️
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I like to say Sometime Life Gets in the Way… Your family recipe for meat pies seems very much like my aunt’s recipe on my father’s side. Your FEAST sounds delish!!!! I think it’s so cool you connected with a bunch of French Canadian ladies from Lowell!! 😀😀 Wow – I never heard of anyone allergic to turkey … I bet it’s the the junk they inject them with like antibiotics… 😥
Thought of two more things … My husband’s family uses ketchup… but his mother’s recipe for meat pie is pretty blah… Also – if you would like to, can you share your recipe for apple casserole with me. And, if it’s OK with you – if I post the recipe here on My Yellow Farmhouse I’ll be sure to credit you for the recipe. 😊
My Dad always used the meat to stuff our Thanksgiving turkey. Delicious.
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Yup, my memere and my mother used to do the same thing. When we lived in Quebec my husband’s family used to stuff a large chicken with a mixture of ground pork, ground beef, celery and onion. And they’d make small ‘loaves’ out of the rest of the stuffing.
Because they, like my mother-in-law, cook their chickens in a large covered roasting pan, there’s tons of juice. And the ‘loaves’ end up soaking up some of that delicious chicken ‘juice’.
I want to post that recipe sometime – the chicken comes out super tender!
Thanks for taking the time to comment!! ; o )
Hello my darling Cecile, You have my mouth watering!!! We always use spices in our Tourtiere. Dashes of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt & pepper. Jerry ads Oregano because my mother did. The rest of the recipe is pretty much the same except I mash the cooked potatoes and then add to the cooked pork & hamburg & onion mixture. Sometimes a bit of chopped fresh celery when cooking the onions. Love you and hope to see you this winter here in Florida.
Hi Lorrie – thanks for commenting! I, too, mash the potatoes before mixing in the pork and onion mixture. But, for some reason, I see that I don’t show that in my photos here. (Maybe I drank too much egg nog!!) I’d love to eat a piece of your meat pies sometime – your recipe sounds wonderful. About the celery, I have a recipe – in my head – of how Claude’s aunt made stuffing and it’s pretty much like this, but with a combination of both pork and hamburg – and chopped celery. The celery helps to keep it moist because they don’t put any potatoes or anything in the stuffing. My mother learned to make meat stuffing from our Memere… but… she added too much potato. No matter – we loved it! Happy New Year my dear cousin. Hope to see you all very soon!! ; o )
[…] Directions for preparing Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies […]
My Memere made it the exact same way. Only salt and pepper. Can’t wait to make it!!
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You are the first recipe have seen to use Poultry seasoning…that is how my mom always made it and salt and pepper of course. I use a bit of nutmeg too…very good.
I decided to add the poultry seasoning. My mother, her mother, and I bet, her mother never used poultry seasoning either. (In Canada you can buy meat pie seasoning and there’s loaded of ‘good stuff’ in it. )
I know I’d love my meat pie with a pinch of nutmeg. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!! ; o )
Uncle Georgie says you just about have it right. I am pleased to see that my receipe almost matches yours to a T Mine was given to me by my sister-in-law Ann Marie, the Home Economics teacher, who memorized Grammy Brouillette’s receipe from years ago
Interesting! My mother didn’t use a recipe and, twice, she gave me what she ‘thought’ were the amounts she used but she wasn’t sure. I’ve played around with the recipe through the years trying to get it taste like my mother’s – and it seems like I’ve come pretty close!! And can you please tell the exact amounts Grammy Brouillette used???
It turns out that, in trying to capture the taste of my mother’s wonderful French Canadian Meat Pies, which she made (without measuring) using her mother’s recipe, I’ve come to almost the exact same proportions as my Grammy Brouillette’s original recipe!! Thanks Uncle George for the information!!
My brother rob is cracking the whip on mom ( Annmarie) as we speak. I get one every year. Thanks to rob in our family for carrying on the tradition. Delicious!!
How awesome ‘Anonymous’. ; o )
I’m grateful to Rob that he is keeping up the Family Tradition. But he has to learn to make them himself!! And I love that your Irish mom is still making French Canadian Meat Pies at her age. Go aunt Annmarie!! ; o )
How about that!! Aunt Annemarie is the one who saved The Family Recipe – and she’s Irish!! ; o )
Wow – French Canadian Meat Pie must be more popular than I ever thought because – almost every day – I get a “hit” for the recipe. My “Grammy'” (Memere in French) would be so pleased !
I gotta say… I’m fascinated that someone used the search term “what is onion Brouillette used for” to find this recipe. Hey – it worked – they found the recipe!! ; o )
I’m so pleased that my “Grammy” Brouillette’s recipe for French Canadian Meat Pie continues to get so many “hits” from all over the world. I know she would be very proud and happy !!