Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 16, 2012 09:20 PM

Tourtiere- anyone know a recipe that doesn't use ground pork?

Hi hounds,
Put this on the NE board but figured this might deserve a repost here...
I'm a 10 years now displaced (CA) New Englander who's missing a bit of home, namely, mom's holiday-tradition tourtiere.
I've seen a lot of recipes online that all seem to start similarly: get ground pork, cook pork to death in water, add mashed potatoes. Not the blissfully rich, spiced pie I remember at all!
Does anyone have a recipe for a tourtiere that does not start with lean ground pork? I'd like to make some comfort food for Thanksgiving and I think that will make all the difference...
Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. since it seems getting your mom's recipe isn't an option (is there a cousin/aunt/other relative who might have it? Or who might at least know some of the ingredients?)...

    ..Tourtiere is of French origin, and there seems to be many variations in Quebec....You might want to try googling "tourtiere recette", which would trigger the French-language recipes...then Google Translate and will get you through it.

    I know it's the long way round....but I wish you luck.

    1. As a former Montrealer, I love Tourtiere myself with a side of Chili Sauce. Last year I made a recipe from Chuck Hughes(recipe on cookingchanneltv website). It is made with ground pork and veal(I substituted ground turkey for the veal) and shredded potatoes. I used chicken stock in place of veal stock. I made the crust with lard and butter and made half the recipe into 2 9" pies. I baked one and froze the second one unbaked and we had it about a month later. We thought it was delicious, not dry and nicely spiced. I will be making it again this year. HTH nadia

      1. not sure why the pork is out.religious reasons?.....can ground veal be substitued?

        7 Replies
        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

          Unless there's a religious issue, I'd definitely stick with pork. I would seem that the big mistake is the directives you're reading which say to start with lean ground pork...that would be a fail, right out of the gate. You should definitely begin with pork that has a decent percentage of fat not only for the added richness, but for better flavor.

          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

            Pork is not out at all, just looking to sub out the ground stuff (or at least some of it) for something a little bit richer.

            1. re: jdwdeville

              You need fattier pork. Onion
              Some people start with a little water just to get the Pork to break up easily but I never found it necessary .
              Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Bay are the spices I use about a half tsp of each for a couple of pounds of Pork. You can also use 2 tsp of Quatre ├ępices for the sweet spices. Grated Onion.
              The Potato should absorb the fat and act as a binder, if you think that it will be too dry a little Heavy Cream and /or Chicken stock works wonders(for texture and flavor).

              1. re: chefj

                This is the recipe of my Canadian family. My nana would occasionally incorporate a bit of mashed turnip as well as potato.

                1. re: pinehurst

                  It is one of those Recipes.
                  A woman I know in Northern NH only uses Pork, Nutmeg, Onion and binds it all with Flour and it is great.

                  1. re: chefj

                    I could go for a piece right now, and would love to try that simple variation....there are so many variations to the pie, and all are so good. I've had some with a very flaky, salty crust, and some with a moister, thicker crust. Everyone has their own spin. Your recipe did a great job of getting down all the items that made the "classic" pie of my childhood, chefj.

          2. Here is a pork based recipe (and venison - not sure how available that is in California), but I have substituted turkey and it was quite delicious. David Lee is a chef here in Toronto and owned Splendido, one of the top restaurants in the city.


            1. So... going with this one:
              Maybe not too traditional but looks like the moist, rich pie I want. Going to have to up the spices, though, 1/8 teaspoon of each seems light.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jdwdeville

                Good call - a recipe from Martin Picard should definitely be rich! Maybe I will try this one too.

                1. re: jdwdeville

                  This recipe looks great. I may have to try that one this year!

                  1. re: jdwdeville

                    I'm planning to make this one for Christmas Eve myself this year. However, to answer the OP's question, my mother (who lived in Montreal for several years before I was born and supposedly picked up the recipe from a native friend) made tourtiere with ground beef when we were growing up. Simple one-to-one sub in any tourtiere recipe you like. I may even use ground beef in the Epicurious recipe instead of ground pork.