Go Back

Pâté à la Viande or Acadian Tourtière

This is the traditional Acadian pâté à la viande. Some areas of Northern New Brunswick add cubed potatoes to the mix. There are several very specific regional variations of tourtière and this is the Acadian Pâté à la Viande which is similar enough that I refer to it as the Acadian Tourtière, but an Acadian would never do that. "We understand that Tourtière is from Quebec," a dear Acadian gal told me.
Yield:12 heaping cups of meat filling. We made one 7 cup pie, and one 5 cups pie in Spring Form pans.
Course Main
Cuisine Acadian Canadian
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 2 deep pies
Author Valerie Lugonja via Ramona's sister in law, Patricia


  • 2 lbs of pork shoulder meat , bone in (so it will weigh more than 2 pounds)
  • 2 lbs of beef (a combination of chuck steak and marrow bones, subtract the weight of the bones)
  • I whole rabbit or chicken (remove skin if using chicken), cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of oil for browning meats
  • 2 large onions , chopped
  • 1/2 large onion , chopped (later use)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon Summer Savoury , or to taste
  • 4 whole cloves or 1/8th teaspoon of powdered cloves
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • Lard pastry for large double pie (bottom will be large, as a Spring Form pan has high sides)
  • Cream or egg yolks to wash pastry crust , optional


  1. Pre-heat oven to 500F on grill; roast marrow bones in oven 5 minutes each side when oven comes to temperature (they will be brown)
  2. Cut half the meat in 1/2 inch cubes and leave the remainder in larger portions, some attached to bones ( I cut into 1 inch portions)
  3. Season and sauté rabbit or chicken in small amount of oil on high for a couple of minutes each side, until starting to brown: set aside
  4. Season and sauté meat chunks until slightly brown, only 2-3 minutes: set aside
  5. Season and sauté and larger bones with meat attached on each side; set aside
  6. Season and sauté onions in caramelized pan; add about 1 cup in 3-4 portions when sautéing onions to release the flavour from the bottom of the pan (scrape and stir with spatula)
  7. Mix salt, pepper and Summer Savoury with powdered cloves (or make a bouquet garni for 4 whole cloves for easy removal before filling pie shells)
  8. Add all bones, meat, onions, seasonings and enough water to cover all ingredients in a large pan
  9. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours adding more water, if necessary on top of the stove, or in the oven
  10. Maintaining water liquid is important for the sauce; set the timer every 20-30 minutes and top up the liquid, as necessary
  11. Once cooked, remove the meat from the sauce; refrigerate overnight
  12. Scrape off hardened fat the following day; remove meat from bones
  13. Remove marrow from bones and place in sauce
  14. Leave some pieces larger, mince the tougher bits, (this is a rustic pie)
  15. Remove bouquet garni if used
  16. Sauté 1/2 large onion, minced; add sauce and season to taste
  17. Thicken with flour; Simmer for 2-3 minutes on stove top until flour is cooked and sauce thickens
  18. Return remainder of meat to warm cooking liquid; reseason, if needed and cool
  19. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  20. Roll pastry and place bottom crust into a spring form pan; ladle mixture into pastry shell
  21. Cover with top crust; flute edges; prick to release steam
  22. Wash crust with egg yolk or cream for a shiny surface
  23. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is golden

Recipe Notes

Shoulder cuts with the bones works best as bones add flavour

You want to add enough liquid with the meat so it is not dry when the pie is baked so better a little wetter than drier

I made a double batch of this recipe and the photos on this post relay twice as much of everything as needed for a regular batch. A regular batch is ample for any size family. I was cooking with a friend and we each wanted one batch of the recipe for our own family.