(pronounced: tour-tee-air)
HISTORY This recipe is from Michael (Michel) Joseph Bellavance and his wife, Pauline Lafleur Bellavance. In his note to us, he says "We are both from a french canadian section of New Bedford, Ma.  Raised to speak french - learned english in school. I love to cook and got these recipes from my french grandmother and my french canadian aunts. Our ancestors and current relatives are from Acadia and the Gaspe Peninsula. Pork butchering time was a festival and yes we made boudin rouge, tourtieres, creton, etc. These recipes are the ones I learned and have passed on to my daughters. We make them at Thanksgiving and Christmas." 

For this tourtière recipe, he continues: "Tourtieres are traditionally served Christmas Eve after midnight services." 

Michael and Pauline submitted this recipe along with two other recipes: one for Forte (pork stuffing for turkey), and tourière (See the Bellavance Tourtière recipe). He tells us: "Please note that all three pork recipes use the same basic pork mixture up until the spices. I normally do between 12 and 15 pounds at a time and divide the mixture to finish each dish. I cook for 14 to 15 hours or, right about 3 to 4 six-packs usually two or three days before the holiday." He concludes: ""P.S. I am an honorary cajun initiated by my freinds in Houma, La. Laissez les bon temps roullez!!!" 

Sounds like fun, Michael. Let us know the next time you and Pauline do this, we'll come down for the party. Thanks for this treasure of recipes!

  • 5 lbs pork butt ground coarse once through the grinder( Have butcher do this)
  • 2.5 lbs white onions chopped real fine(if you use a food processor do not liquefy the onions)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ground Cinnamon and Ground Clove to taste( start with 1 teaspoon of each) Always add equal amounts of each.
  • Approximately 1 to 1.5 cups Fine Cracker Crumbs(or Uneeda Crackers Unsalted and ground fine) - My aunt used to do this between pieces of wax paper with a rolling pin.
  • White Pork Lard if available otherwise any Lard - approximately 5-6 tablespoons.
  • Water
  1. In a large dutch oven or heavy cast iron pot add the lard and heat until lard is hot but not smoking..
  2. Crumble the ground pork into the lard and begin to sautee over medium high heat stirrng constantly to prevent burning or excessive browning. Pork should look boiled.
  3. Once pork is heated through add the onions and continue stirring to mix all the pork and onions. Allow to cook for ten minutes or so to sweat onions and flavor the pork. Add salt and pepper to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon of each.
  4. Add enough water to not quite cover the pork/onion mixture. Water should be just visible if you press down on the mixture with a large spoon. Bring to a boil and simmer covered at the lowest burner setting possible maintaining a slow simmer approximately 1 hour per pound or 5-6 hours.
  5. After two hours use a potato masher and mash the mixture to a fine consistency like coarse pate. Continue cooking.
  6. After 4 hours pork mixture will darken and extra pork fat will cook out and form a top layer. Begin removing extra fat/water from top of pork mixture with a ladel and save. Continue to simmer for an additional hour. Stir every once in a while to prevent sticking.
  7. After ladling fat, add 1/2 teaspoon Bell's Seasoning and cook for 1/2 hour. Taste and add more Bell's Seasoning to your individual taste. I like between 1 and 1.5 teaspoons. Remove from heat and remove some of the excess fat from mixture as above.
  8. For each 5 lbs of mixture use two or three large potatoes peeled, cooked, and riced (or coarsely mashed). Add potato to mixture just until liquid fat is absorbed. Adjust salt and pepper to compensate for potato addition.
  9. Prepare an 8" in or  9" pie pan with bottom crust (use your favorite crust recipe). Add enough mixture to fill pie pan slightly higher than even with the top (like a small mound). Place a top crust over the pie and crimp to seal. Use an egg wash or milk for a nice brown crust. Pierce and vent the crust and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 deg. F until nicely browned. This should take 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Can be served warm with brown gravy or cold.
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