With the holiday season in full swing, it's the perfect time to connect with family. Whether this be in person or over FaceTime, food is one way that can easily bring people closer together. We have partnered with Fraser Fitzgerald from @thatplantedfork who wrote and tested this special twist on a classic dish from Quebec: Tourtière (meat pie). Read Fraser's blog below.
Growing up, the holidays were always a big deal for my family. Christmas Day is probably my mom's favourite day of the year. She loves everything about it. The presents, the family time, the food, all of it. Christmas Eve was usually spent relaxing and doing any last minute things before the big day, followed by the same dinner every year. Enter the recipe below. Tourtiere is something we always had on Christmas Eve. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s essentially meat pie originating from Quebec, or French Canada. My great grandmother was French Canadian and they would have it every Christmas eve, so the tradition naturally continued into our family. In my early 20’s I went vegetarian and then vegan and we started celebrating Christmas with my Dad (who is also vegan!) on Christmas eve. So, with us not eating meat anymore, the tourtiere tradition skipped a few years. Fast forward 10 years, I am now vegan and a chef, but also engaged to a very good baker. With the emergence of Beyond Meat, we decided to tackle a plant based tourtiere for the first time last Christmas. It was a smashing success and my Dad still talks about it. Below you will find the recipe for the most delicious plant-powered tourtiere.
Vegan pastry is often thought to be difficult, especially because it relies on firm butter to be successful. The good news is that vegan ‘milk’ products have really improved even in the last 5 years. When shopping for vegan butter for this recipe, make sure you look for a butter that is hard; brands like Melt, or Earth Balance work well. For this recipe, I used the new Becel Plant Butter Sticks. I like the sticks because they are pre measured and easy to cut into small cubes for ‘cutting’ into the flour. It’s important for the butter to be cold, so you can really cut the butter into the flour and create those puffy layers within the pastry.
This dough is pretty simple. Trust yourself, you got this.
For the filling, it’s important to buy Beyond Meat – I’ve tested it with other vegan meat products, and it’s hard to achieve the same flavour as some lack the same fat content. Fat equals flavour, so if you use a different plant based meat as a substitute, you can always add a little butter in when cooking it down. You want to take your time with this filling and let everything cook down before adding it to the pastry.
This is a dish even your meat eating family will love. Enjoy it this holiday season!
Serves: 3-6 people
Total time: 1 1/2 hours
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted vegan butter, very cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6-8 tbsp ice water
1 package of Beyond Ground Meat, or 2-4 Beyond Meat Burgers
½ can of lentils, drained and rinsed
500g mixed variety of mushrooms, finely minced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground sage
½ tsp ground black pepper
⅛ tsp ground cloves
¼ cup unsweetened non dairy milk
1 tbsp oil
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- Start with the pastry. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt together.
- Using a fork, or a pastry cutter, add the cubed butter, bit by bit. Use the fork or cutter to smash the butter into small pieces, until the butter is as small as the size of sand. This will create layers within the dough. Keep going until all the butter is added.
- Adding 1 tbsp at a time, add the ice water. Use a fork or spatula. Work the water into the flour mixture gently. You will know the mixture is ready when you pinch some together and it holds. Empty the dough onto a floured surface and gather the mixture in a dough ball. Form the dough into two disks by cutting the dough ball into 2 equal pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill.
- In a large pan over medium heat. Add the Beyond meat and cook for 3-5 minutes. It will release a lot of fat, that’s okay, you want that for flavour! Add 1 tsp of salt and the rest of the spices, along with the onion and garlic, cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the mushrooms, a handful at a time, as they release a lot of moisture and if the pan is too crowded, it will steam the mushrooms. Add the next handful of mushrooms once all the liquid from the previous round has been cooked off. Once all the mushrooms have been added, add another tsp of salt. Stir and add in the lentils. Taste it, adjust seasonings. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Now it’s time to roll out your dough. Remove one disc at a time from the fridge, place a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface. Unwrap the dough and sandwich the dough between parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is ½ inch thick. Carefully place the dough onto your 8 inch pie pan, and gently push the dough into place.
- Fill the pie with the meat mixture, there might be leftovers depending on your pie pan. That’s okay, this filling is great for tacos, burritos, or anywhere you’d usefi ground beef.
- Roll out the second dough disc the same way you did the first one, and carefully place it on top of the meat mixture. Using a knife, cut off the excess dough. You’re almost there. Using a fork, press along the edge of the pie to seal the two doughs together.
- Finally, cut some slits in the middle of the pie, this is for steam to escape. Combine the ‘egg’ wash mixture ingredients in a small bowl and brush the top of the pie with this mixture.
- Pop the pie in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, make sure to check halfway to make sure it’s not burning. After 40 minutes, it should be golden brown and fully cooked. Cook for another 5 minutes if you want a more golden finish.
About the Chef
Hello, I’m Fraser!
I am passionate about plants and turning them into creative, delicious meals. I love helping others learn to cook and transform their favourite comfort foods into healthier versions — all without taking away the flavours they know and love.
That Planted Fork is born out of a love for cooking and a passion for plant based dishes. Owned and operated by me, That Planted Fork provides cooking classes, private dinners & menu development for clients in Hamilton, Niagara and across the GTA.
I love to show everyone that the same broccoli they hated as a kid can taste amazing!
Love this recipe? Get Fraser's digital cookbook! It takes you through everything you need to know about cooking plant-based meals, from key flavour combinations to answering the most common questions Fraser gets in his cooking classes. Cook your way through favourite recipes developed for friends, family and students – from doughs, take-out classics to plant-based cheeses.