Tourtière is one of our best-selling items during the holidays. Quebecois in origin, the meat pie dates back to the region’s colonial settlements where it became part of the Christmas Réveillon feast. Luckily, the French-Canadians were kind enough to eventually disseminate their delicious dish across Canada and parts of New England. We sell it year round but for many people it’s still a holiday specialty.
If anyone doubts the exclusively Canadian origin of tourtière you need only to consult The Larousse Gastronomique to confirm that no such dish exists in France. It is the butter tart of main courses.
Like any good creation myth, the origins of the term tourtière are up for debate. There are two main schools of thought; the pan people and the pigeon people. The pan folk hold dear the notion that tourtière derives its name from the French ceramic tourtière dish in which you cook a pie or a tourte. Like how a casserole comes in a casserole. In the opposing camp are the pigeon people who believe, as states The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook, that “originally this French-Canadian specialty was prepared with passenger pigeons or tourtes as they were known in French”. Regardless, we hold it as a matter of faith that our tourtières are the best in town.
When making tourtière the Sanagan’s kitchen starts with our house-made pastry which is filled with onion, bacon and ground pork simmered in milk with pepper, clove, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and thyme.
Purchased cooked, they only need to be reheated. Or take home a frozen one and finish it in the oven for a fresh-baked experience. Either way, they bring a delectable feast of culinary Canadiana to your table.
If you’re thinking of adding tourtière to your Sanagan’s shopping list for the holidays be sure to place your order soon. It’s an old-time favourite that sells out fast.