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While many French-Canadian tourtiéres do include mashed potatoes, the majority do not have grated potatoes in the bottom. I don't know when this tradition started with my family. Maybe it simply was my grandmother's response to difficult economic times. With more money, or fewer sons to feed, the layer of grated potatoes decreased, and the measure of meat rose – regional Canadian cuisine at its budgetary best!



  1. In a heavy bottom pot, place meat, onion, water, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook until meat is well cooked, and no pink remains.
  2. Add allspice and nutmeg, plus a very small pinch of cloves. Mix well and taste. Add more salt if needed.
  3. Place bottom pie crusts in pie plates.
  4. Spread half of the grated potato over each pie crust. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Top with 3 cups (750 mL) of meat mixture.
  6. Place second crust over entire mixture. Seal edges and cut vents into top pastry to allow steam to escape.
  7. Bake 8-9 inch meat pie in a 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake for another 35 minutes.
  8. Remove pie from the oven and allow cooling for 5 minutes prior to cutting and serving.

Yield: 2 pies

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories 490 Total Fat 33g Saturated Fat 9g Cholesterol 55mg Sodium 400mg Carbohydrates 31g Fibre 0g Protein 17g

Source: CanolaInfo Virtual Test Kitchen

Recipe and photograph courtesy of


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