Botanical Treasures

Memere's Tourtiere

Memere's Tourtiere

Memere’s Tourtiere, as remembered. 

French Canadian Spiced Meat Pie, best served with spiced pickled beets

This isn’t a traditional tourtiere recipe, but it is as I remember being taught. And it is magnificent. Most recipes call for potatoes to soak up the “meat juices” (grease) but Memere used saltine crackers.  

Crust: as made or pre-purchased

1 Egg to make a wash for the dough (1 egg and 1TBS water whisked together)

Filing Ingredients:

1 TBS Butter

1 Medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic minced or crushed

1 heaping TBS Hippocras Mulling Spice, ground (I use a coffee grinder) Available here: Hippocras, Mulling Spice – Pentacle Herbs

(optional) pinch of Nutmeg and Ginger

2 tsp Salt

¼ tsp Dried Mustard

1 tsp Pepper

1 tsp Dried Thyme

½ tsp Dried Sage

1.5lb total ground meat: pork, beef, lamb (any combination), preferably 80% lean or greater.

Saltine Crackers, at least two sleeves


Preheat oven to 375degrees F

Melt butter over medium heat.

Add onion and saute until golden.

Add garlic and dry spice mixture, allow to cook for a minute.

Add ground meat and approximately ⅔ C water. The goal is to break apart the meat while cooking rather than have chunks. Don’t worry if there’s too much, you can cook it out.  It will evaporate.

Add more seasonings to taste.  

Once there’s only meat juice (grease) remaining and no more water, it’s time to add the crackers.

If it feels like there’s too much juice, you can ladle out a bit, but you want the juices to remain to keep the pie moist. When I use 80% or greater lean meat, I only ladle out a spoonful or so.

Crumble the saltines with your hands and place in the meat mixture to absorb the meat juices. Typically, it will take 1-2 sleeves of saltines.  

You’ll know it’s ready when the consistency is creamy and when you pull a spoon across the bottom of the pan and juices don’t rush in to fill the void.

Allow to cool.

Use homemade or store-bought pie dough to line a 9” pie pan.  

Brush crust edges of the pie crust.

Fill with meat mixture.

Drape second crust over meat mixture.  

Crimp or pinch edges.

Create a few sliced lines in the middle for venting.

Bake at 375degrees F for an hour or until golden.

Serve at room temperature with Spiced Pickled Beets

Spiced Pickled Beets: Add 1 TBS mulling spices to jar of picked beets.  Best if left for 24 or more hours.

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