Quebec’s Traditional Meat Pie: Tourtière

Tourtière, traditionally enjoyed around the Christmas and New Year holidays, is a savory, spiced meat pie enveloped in a flaky puff pastry crust. Customarily filled with minced pork and seasoned with holiday spices such as clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, the tourtière has origins in the province of Quebec that can be traced back to as early as the 1600′s. There remains debate as to the history of the name and whether it was derived from the tourte, a passenger pigeon that was hunted into extinction as game meat was originally used for the tourtière’s filling or from the word tourte, referring to the pie pan the dish is prepared in. Either way, there is no debate as to the tourtière’s place at the holiday table and the nostalgic memories of the holiday season that it conjures in people throughout the world with ties to French-Canadian culture.