Recipe: Chef Chuck Hughes Tourtière

Chef Chuck Hughes shared a number of holiday dishes as the headliner for this year’s Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. As chef Hughes is born and raised in Montreal, it was no surprise he would be teaching us how to serve up a traditional Christmas Eve Tourtière (or meat pie).

While this meat pie does take some time to prepare, Tourtière is a great dish to make ahead of time so you can just pop it in the oven on Christmas Eve.

Chef Chuck Hughes Traditional Christmas Eve Tourtière


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter or lard
6-7 Tbsp cold water


1 lb ground Alberta pork
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely minced
2 large potatoes
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
to taste – salt and pepper
1 egg, scrambled for glazing

Prepare the pastry:

In a large bowl, combine the flour with the salt. Cut in the butter or lard until mixture is roughly even crumbly texture. Add water and blend just until dough comes together.
Shape into a rough disc, wrap and chill in the refrigerator. While pastry is chilling, prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling:

Cook potatoes in a pot of water until tender, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of potato water and drain the rest. Mash potatoes and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the onion, garlic, beef and pork over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat. Add seasonings and reserved potato water.

Mix well and simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from heat, stir in mashed potatoes, and set aside to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 400F/205C.

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half and flatten one ball of dough with your hands. Roll dough to about 12 inches in diameter to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Place the pastry into the pie plate and add the meat filling.

Brush around the outer edge of the pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the top pastry and place on top of the filling. Fold the top crust under the bottom crust and pinch or flute the edges. Brush the egg was and cut vent holes.

Bake in a preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the Tourtière from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: makes 1 pie, about eight servings.