Tourtiere & Sweet Crepes for Mardi Gras

In the old days in La Belle Province, Quebec, Mardi Gras was one last blow out before the 40 long days of Lent, a time to eat, drink and party.

There was no set menu for Mardi Gras, but many would people eat tourtiere and sweet crepes, so here another tourtiere recipe to try.

This recipe is from Chez Clo, a legendary Montreal snack bar (now closed) and is thickened with oatmeal rather than potatoes.

chez clo

Pie Crust
(Recipe makes 2 covered pies or 4 single pie shells)

  • 5 cups flour (635 grams)
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ cups shortening (320 grams)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add room temperature shortening. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture until rough crumbs.

Beat egg, water, and vinegar together, then pour over flour mixture.

Stir mixture together with a fork until moistened.

Divide dough into four equal size balls, roughly 300 gm each. Flatten balls into 4-inch disks, wrap with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Can be stored up to 3 days in the fridge, or 3 weeks in the freezer.

Tourtière Filling

  • 2 lb. (908 g) medium ground beef
  • 1 lb. (454 g) lean ground pork
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) diced tender celery stalks, with leaves
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) dried summer savory
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) each ground cinnamon and cloves
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) large-flake rolled oats

Saute onions over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then add celery and cook another 2-3 minutes together, then empty vegetables into a large, heavy pan.

Saute beef and pork until meat loses its pinkness. It’s a lot of meat. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or the meat will boil, not brown. Use two pans if necessary.

Transfer beef and pork into the pot with the onions, then add water, parsley, savory, cinnamon, cloves, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost evaporated, about 1 hour.

Remove from heat, stir in rolled oats. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Roll out pie dough, then put it in a deep 9″ pie plate (Pyrex is best).

Fill with half the meat mixture. Roll out another 10″ circle of pastry and put it on top. Crimp edges of pie with a fork then trim the overhang. Cut vents into the top for steam to escape.

Repeat for the second pie, then mix in a cup and brush over both pies:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) milk

To Bake

Preheat oven to 425F. Bake first 15 minutes at 425F to make the bottom crispy, then reduce heat to 350 until pastry is golden and filling piping hot, about 40 to 45 minutes.) Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Serve tourtière with pickled beets, chili sauce or salsa.

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