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Dining & Nightlife

Tourtiere: Traditional Meat Pie


Comfort foodies, rejoice. The tourtiere meat pie is a flaky, decadent dish that’ll warm you from the inside out.

Like a traditional meat pie, tourtiere takes shape in a variety of forms depending on the cook. First, a base is chosen. The meat of choice depends on what’s available regionally. Coastal towns often create their tasty masterpieces with salmon and other fish, while pork, beef and rabbit are used more frequently inland. Then, a concoction of onions, potatoes and a variety of spices comes together all under the doughy roof of the crust.

As writer Rhea Cote Robbins observes, “There are as many ways to prepare tourtiere as there are Franco women.” Collecting these recipes and preparing tourtiere are powerful touchstones for many Franco-Americans, as it provides a time to bond.

Originating in Quebec, tourtiere recipes come paired with a rich history. The meal was brought to the New England region of the U.S. in the late 19th century.

The pies are typically served in winter, most commonly around the holidays when families come together to share stories, traditions and recipes. Bring the family together, holiday or not, to try your hand at this Maine tradition.