Pork Pies (Tourtières)

Pork Pies (Tourtières)

By Lynne Viera

Here in Maine, Pork Pies are a Christmas holiday tradition. As early as Thanksgiving, families start planning - how many pork pies will they need for Christmas, whose recipe they’ll be following, and who’ll be baking them. Pastry shops and bakeries start encouraging customers to place their orders in early December. Where did this delicious tradition begin? Up North.

The pork pie (aka Tourtière) is French-Canadian and can be traced back to the early 1600s. It was traditionally enjoyed after midnight mass on Christmas. In the late 19th century, many French-Canadians from Quebec moved to Maine to work in the mills and they brought this wonderful pie recipe with them.

While pork is traditional as the main ingredient, beef and sometimes game meats are mixed in, depending on what’s on hand and favorite family flavors. The addition of warm spices like cloves, cinnamon and allspice creates depth of flavor and an incredible aroma that will be wafting through your home and drawing everyone to the kitchen.

It’s traditional to make large pies but we find these smaller ones a bit easier to handle and more versatile (eat some over the holidays, have some waiting in the freezer for the first blizzard or if friends drop by unexpectedly). Wait until you try them. Heartstone’s pasture-raised ground pork and all those warm holiday spices baked in a buttery, flaky crust will warm you right up! Enjoy.

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