Twisted Tradition

I don't often make family heritage inspired dinners. My Father's side of the family is from Germany and I've been able to make goose for Christmas dinner and rouladen, but I've not really made anything inherently French-Canadian (Mom's side). This thanksgiving, however, I thought I'd make a meat pie.

My grandmother used to make a traditional French-Canadian tourtière years and years ago. (I don't personally remember but my Dad swears they were to die for.) So I thought I'd try my hand at it. I didn't have a recipe so I just made one up. A little twist on the traditional half-beef, half-pork tourtière. 

Lamb tourtière


(Same as Apple Pie)

5 cups flour

2 tsp salt

1 lb shortening (LARD!!! Go French cooking!)

1 egg

2 TBSP white vinegar

Cold Water


  1. Measure out flour and salt into a large bowl. Mix. 
  2. Cut in shortening until pea sized.
  3. Crack egg into a 1 cup liquid measure. Beat egg.  
  4. Add vinegar to beaten egg.
  5. Add cold water to egg and vinegar mixture until 1 cup measure.  Mix.
  6. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture. Mix till a dough forms. (Add extra flour if dough is to sticky to handle)

Make enough for 3 pies (top and bottom).


Meat Pie Filling

1 TBSP olive oil

1/2 medium white onion, chopped

3 celery sticks, chopped

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 lb ground Lamb (Frozen or fresh)

1/2 TBSP coarsely ground pepper

1 russet potato, cut into cube-ish shapes

1 medium zucchini, cut into cube-ish shapes

2 cups beef broth

2 - 3 TBSP flour


  1. Roll out pastry into a deep dish pie plate. Set aside.
  2. Prep all the ingredients. (Chop veg, defrost lamb, etc.)
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery. Cook till onions are clear. 
  4. Add garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. 
  5. Add ground lamb, breaking up lamb into peices. Cook till is lightly pink. Add ground pepper.
  6. Add potato and zucchini. Stir. Cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften. 
  7. Pour broth into meat mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. 
  8. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat mixture to pie plate.
  9. Add flour to remaining liquid in the pan. Whisk together. Heat over medium high heat until gravy thickens, about 5 minutes.  
  10. Pour gravy over meat mixture in pie plate.  
  11. Roll out pastry for the pie top. Seal with water. Press top and bottom pie shells together.
  12. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes or until filling is bubbling and pastry is golden brown.  


That pie was amazing. I will be definitely making tourtière again. (Christmas anyone?)

To be honest though, thanksgiving isn't quite right without a turkey, so we had that too. (Thanksgiving is my favourite food holiday, hands down.)


The Half-Assed Hobbyist