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Traditional Quebequois Pâté Chinois

This is a traditional Québécois dish similar to Sheppard's Pie that is true home food inside of every French Canadian home. Each has their own version, of course!
Course Main: Casserole
Cuisine French Canadian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 -10
Author Valerie Lugonja


  • 1 pound organic , grass fed, know-your-farmer ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • extra virgin olive oil (amounts within instructions)
  • 1/2 cup each diced zucchini , chopped onion, diced red pepper, diced button mushrooms
  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup homemade ketchup (recipe here)
  • 1.3 kilo potatoes , boiled and riced
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese , freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper (amounts within instructions)


  1. Brown one pound of extra lean ground beef in a large non stick skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a half teaspoon each salt and pepper and the garlic powder; add half of the wine to the bottom of the pan with the beef to de-glaze the pan
  2. Boil the potatoes at the same time, watching carefully to ensure they are cooked properly (instructions follow)
  3. Remove beef; in the same pan, sauté onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and red pepper over medium high heat in 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil until the onions are soft and translucent and the mushrooms begin to release their water; season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  4. De-glaze the pan with the remaining wine; simmer until the alcohol has evaporated and set aside
  5. Add the ground beef back into to the pan and stir to combine
  6. Meanwhile, remove the kernels from four ears of fresh corn, add the tiny leaves from the 3 sprigs of fresh thyme; sauté for 8 minutes in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, stirring well; add 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a tablespoon of all purpose flour and continue to sauté another minute
  7. Add the cup of milk over medium heat; stir until thickened
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  9. Combine the corn mixture with the meat mixture; add the one cup of homemade ketchup (or oven roasted fresh tomatoes)
  10. Pour into a 9 x 13 oiled baking dish
  11. Boil potatoes in their skins until tender; using a potato ricer, rice into a bowl
  12. Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated pepper and 1/3 cup soft butter; using a wooden spoon, mix to combine well
  13. Spread evenly over the ground beef and vegetables with an off-set spatula; poke holes into the surface to allow steam to excape
  14. Bake in a 375°F oven for 50 minutes, until bubbly and golden

Instructions for Potatoes

  1. Clean potatoes, leave whole (select ones similar in size so they will cook at the same rate)
  2. Place into medium stainless steel pan with tight fitting lid; cover with water
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water; turn the burner on high and bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover with a lid
  5. Cook gently boiling water until tender, about 20 minutes for smaller new potatoes
  6. Drain the potatoes in a colander; cool to touch and rice, one at a time

Recipe Notes

Some people will layer meat with the vegetables on the bottom, then the corn, topped with the potatoes and dusted with paprika.
My homemade ketchup is not as sweet as commercial ketchup which is often used in traditional home recipes.