Classic French Canadian Venison Tourtiere

Venison Tourtiere

Philip Wilkins / Getty Images

  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 tourtiere (6 to 8 servings)

Making a tourtiere is an annual Christmas tradition for many French Canadian families. This venison tourtiere recipe marries the complexities of a meat pie brought together with a special blend of herbs and Cognac, and the rustic simplicity of game meat. The result is a tender meat pie cozy enough to be served on a cold winter's night with nothing more than a bottle of wine to keep it company on the table. ​

Though this dish may not be a traditional French dish, though in France they do, of course, have their version of the pie, but in Quebec, you will find it everywhere during the holidays. 


  • 1 pate brisee (or store-bought pastry dough for a double crust)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground venison
  • 3/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed and finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup carrots (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup potato (small cubes)
  • 2/3 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/16 teaspoon cloves (ground)
  • 1/16 teaspoon allspice (ground)
  • 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg (grated)
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs

Steps to Make It

How to Make Venison Tourtiere

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 F. Roll the pastry dough into 2 equal-sized circles to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Line the bottom of the pie pan with 1 circle and set aside the prepared pie pan and remaining pastry for later.

  2. Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the pork, venison, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through.

  3. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Add the beef stock, Cognac, herbs, and spices to the meat and vegetables; simmer the mixture over low-medium heat, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the mashed potatoes and dry breadcrumbs into the mixture. Allow the meat filling to sit for 3 minutes. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie pan and top with the remaining pastry dough. Crimp the dough shut, flute the edges, cut vents in the top, and bake the pie for 12 minutes.

  5. Reduce the oven heat to 350 F and continue baking the pie for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.