The tourtière I grew up with was different from the traditional tourtière at Christmas made in French Canadian households.
I’m not sure whether it originated from my father’s Québecois side or my mother’s Acadian side, but I’ve never tasted another tourtière I liked better. (I know, everyone says that.)
I suspect it’s from my mother’s Acadian roots as she always made it and it is so simple, it is brilliant. No fancy spices, just the basics as I would expect from an agricultural culture with only a small variety of ingredients and spices available.
Our tourtière is made with:
1 part each: ground lean veal, pork, and beef (the most delicious flavor mix).
Onion to taste.
No-fail pastry using lard (recipe available on most lard or shortening containers).
Note: It’s important to scoop both meat mixture and juices together when filling the pie shells for a moist pie.
I can remember loving it with ketchup on top as a kid, just like my dad did. As an adult though, I prefer it plain with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts served on the side.
Every year my mother made and froze a couple dozen tourtière for our own holiday meals and to give away as gifts to friends and family.
I also made them in quantities once in a while and I must say that although mine never measured up to my mother’s, I like to think (and my family says) they came close.