What is it?
Tourtiere is French Canadian meat pie, often made with a blend of meats (usually veal and pork) with spices, and is often found on festive tables during the holiday season (and in winter months–it’s quite a warmer).
This double crusted pie is thought to have earned its name thanks to the dish in which it is baked. The tradition of eating it at Christmastime stems from a longstanding practice of Quebecois eating Tourtiere during réveillon, the feast enjoyed following Catholic Christmas Eve mass.
While not all who eat Tourtiere are either or both Quebecois and Catholic, the dish is truly Canadian, and is found at pie shops, restaurants, and in homes across the country. (It found its way into my Vancouver family home once upon a time, and remains a Christmas Eve custom for us.)
Where to get it:
You can find Tourtiere more easily during December in Vancouver, by the slice, in individual servings, or to order up and bring home for your own festivities.
Bowen Island’s Lime & Moon make a Tourtiere using 100% all-natural, non-GMO, antibiotic-free, grain-fed beef and pork from local suppliers. The pie is $42 and can be pre-ordered from their original or Yaletown locations.
Address: 400 Bowen Trunk Road, Bowen Island
Address: 1066 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Some Tourtiere go the full Canadiana and use game meat, which is precisely what you’ll find at Timber, the Vancouver restaurant that celebrates the nation’s cuisine with aplomb. They’ve brought back their Elk Tourtiere for the fall and winter, and it comes in an individual cast iron skillet (though it’s great to share).
Address: 1300 Robson Street, Vancouver
Kitsilano’s Aphrodite’s has an always-stellar roster of pies on offer, and they roll out their traditional Tourtiere in late November each year. Available whole or by the slice.
Address: 3605 West 4th Avenue (Restaurant) and 3598 West 4th Avenue (Pie Shop), Vancouver
With the option to order a frozen version to heat to golden-crusted perfection at home, or a fresh version, the Tourtiere from Savary Island Pie Company is made with diced eye round AAA steaks and pork soaked in beef broth. Savary Island sources their antibiotic- and hormone-free meats locally, and all their crusts are scratch-made using real butter and free-range eggs. Their Tourtiere comes in a small or large size.
Address: 1533 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Vancouver’s Pie Hole lists their Tourtiere as one of their “seldom” offerings, which means you’d best order yours up while you can. Check their “Fresh Sheet” online for the Tourtiere around November-December to get your hands on one (available in 9-inch, 5-inch, or handpie form) from this top-notch pie maker.
Address: 401 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver