I have never heard of lamb being used in tourtière. Pork is traditional except in the Lac St. Jean and Saguenay regions where game is popular.

I forgot to mention, that my mother would make extra tourtière meat and stuff the Christmas turkey with it.

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All beef, or part beef/veal and part pork, has become much more common than all pork Tourtière throughout Quebec and Ontario.

While I’ve only made Tourtières a dozen times, trying 3 or 4 different French Canadian recipes, I’ve purchased dozens of different Tourtières and have not seen all pork Tourtières for sale in Ontario.

It might have changed over the past 40 years. All pork might be a regional preference or family preference.

The commercial one I buy most, as a year round staple , includes veal, beef and pork.

The lamb may have been my modification. I’m pretty sure the original recipe wasn’t written in “pounds”, either.

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Most traditional Tourtières would be made with whatever meat was available. People in the countryside would use more venison or moose (since hunting is very much part of the Quebec regional gastronomy traditionally), people in the city might use more pork since it’s cheaper than beef, venison or veal.

Lamb isn’t that much of a stretch. I bet my household would prefer that to the standard pork and beef version.

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I came across the recipe you posted earlier, and it was lamb.

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Thank you for finding that link! I looked all over for it yesterday (everywhere but on HO, that is), and couldn’t locate it. I was certain I had posted it on CH, but didn’t recall posting it here. I should learn to bookmark my own stuff. :crazy_face:


This is the recipe we use - my in-laws were Candian French. We tweaked the spices somewhat and use double store bought crusts.

Pastry for two crust pie.
1 large onion chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons oil or butter
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 pounds of pork
1 cup gravy or stock (saved from turkey or pork)
2 russett potatoes (par boiled)
2 Tablespoons chopped celery leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme,
1/2 teaspoon rosemary (or more)
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice, more to taste
Saute the onion in oil until transparent, add the garlic and saute for
one minute and then add the ground pork. Cook until the meat is brown.
Add 1/2 cup stock or gravy and cover pan and simmer for about 15 or 20
minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F
Uncover pan and reduce liquid to 2 or 3 tablespoons. Add the
seasonings and stir to blend.Adjust seasonings to taste. Add potatoes
and add enough additional gravy to moisten. Should not be to wet.
Spoon filling into pastry shell. Use egg glaze on along overhand.
Place crust on top and trim. Fold the top edge under the bottom and
crimp edge. Brush with egg glaze and decorate with extra pastry if
desired. Sprinkle with Coarse salt.
Bake in the lower third of oven for 15 minutes and then raise to the
middle shelf, lower heat to 350 and continue to bake until golden
brown. About 45 to 55 minutes.


I plan to make Martin Picard’s version soon. I wonder what it would be like with a bit of foie gras thrown in.

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I think they usually top their dishes with foie gras at his restaurant . I’ve been to Au Pied de Cochon twice and his sugar shack once, but didn’t order Tourtière.

They top the lobster roll with a little foie gras.

For anyone living in or visiting Quebec, Au Pied de Cochon sells their Tourtière online.

My mother always used bread soaked in milk. I went through a phase of using oatmeal but now usually use potatoes. I’m surprised that you use so little cloves.

Au contraire, it would like have been in pounds until Canada changed to the metric system in 1971.

First tourtiére of the season today. The recipe I use, written on a scrap of paper and unearthed every December, contains:
Rolled oats for thickening
Beef broth

My mother always has Tenderflake lard pastry in the freezer, so that’s what we used. Forgot to get a picture of a slice but it was delicious.


Looks good but where are the cloves? Out of curiosity, do you happen to know where in Québec your recipe originated? I am interested in the regional variations.

Not sure if this is for me, but I don’t put cloves because I find they can be overpowering. I love allspice in meat mixtures though. I have no idea where this recipe came from—sorry. I am located in Ottawa, so just across the River from Quebec but I’m not French Canadian.


Most French Canadians use cloves in tourtière. I suspect that it was originally savory because I question whether cloves were available in earlier 19th century Québec. Your recipe looks good. It is nice to see our traditions crossing the river!

@LeCoqNoir, there are thousands of Franco-Ontarians living on the Ontario side of the River. That part of Ontario has very long history of French Canadian inhabitants. Orleans, a suburb just east of Ottawa, is predominantly French-speaking, as is Cornwall. They eat as much Tourtière as the Quebecers and Acadians do.

New article with a Tourtière recipe

Tourtière is found in all French Canadian communities across Canada, as well as some in the States.

Here is a French Manitoban family recipe

I’m going to check to see if I can find a French Saskatchewanian recipe. I have some other recipes from French Canadian communities in Saskatchewan.

This is an interesting history.

Acadian Tourtière


Great links. Thanks!

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A bit of a tangent, but interesting.

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Interesting! My family, both sides, is from Montérégie. I am between second and fourth generation American (U.S. that is, I realize that Canadians are also American!) depending on which line I follow. We spoke French at home but since my parents had moved from New England were not educated in the language. When we would visit our grandparents in Connecticut during summer vacation, French was all we spoke. Sadly, today the language is all but extinct in New England.

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