This dish, well, to tell the truth I could eat it every week until the end of my days. If I had three or four livers set aside for transplanting, I’d start working on that project right away! Also, the tourtière is really, really good served with a lightly dressed green salad.


(Serves 6-8)


1 knob unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
100 g (¾ cup) white mushrooms, chopped
100 ml (½ cup) white wine
500 g (17 ½ oz) ground pork
A few whole cloves, ground
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pig’s trotter, braised and deboned
1 small potato, peeled and grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pie dough (recipe follows)
200 g (7 oz) braised pork shank meat, shredded
1 egg yolk


150 g calf’s brain
150 g veal sweetbreads
100 g (3 ½ oz) potatoes
100 g (3 ½ oz) slab bacon
50 g  (½ cup) pecans
20 g (2 ½ cup) arugula
130 g (5 oz) green onions
100 g (3 ½ oz) raw foie gras
½ wheel (200 g/7 oz) Laracam (or other soft washed-rind cow’s milk cheese)
100 g (¾ cup) flour for dredging
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
30 ml (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
30 ml (2 tablespoons) red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper (4 turns of the mill)



In a saucepan over medium heat, sweat the onion and garlic in butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until the water released by the vegetables evaporates completely. Add the white wine and reduce until evaporated.

Add the ground pork and spices. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring to break up the meat. Add the trotter meat and grated potato. Cook another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, adjust the seasoning and set aside to cool.

Roll the dough into two 25 cm (10-inch) rounds and line a 20 cm (8-inch) pie plate with one of them. Fill with the ground meat mixture and shredded pork shank meat. Cover with the other pastry round, crimping the edges. Brush with egg yolk. Cut steam holes in the top and refrigerate.


Place the calf’s brain and sweetbreads in a bowl and run a light stream of cold water over them for 2 hours. Remove the brain and sweetbreads from the bowl and poach them in a pot of simmering water for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Clean the brain and peel the membrane from the sweetbreads.

Cut the brain into 4 cm (1 ½ -inch) cubes and refrigerate. Press the sweetbreads between two pans for 6 hours, placing a heavy can or two in the top pan for weight. This step presses the excess water out of the sweetbreads, which improves the final texture. Cut the sweetbreads into 4 cm (1 ½-inch) cubes and refrigerate.

Peel the potato and cut into 5 mm (¼-inch) cubes. Cut the bacon into 1 x 1 x 4 cm (⅜ x ⅜ x 1 ½-inch) pieces. Roughly chop the pecans and the arugula. Thinly slice the green onions. Cut the foie gras into 2 cm (1-inch) cubes. Refrigerate all the garnish ingredients.

Cooking and Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 205℃ (400℉).

Blanch the cubed potato in boiling water. Drain and set aside.

Bake the tourtière for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 175℃ (350℉) and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove the tourtière from the oven and cut a 15 cm (6-inch) disc from the centre of the top crust. Keep the pastry disc warm.

Reduce the oven temperature to 95℃ (200℉). Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind from the top and bottom of the cheese. Leave the rind on the side of the cheese. Slice the cheese horizontally into 2 equal rounds. Place the cheese in the opening cut into the tourtière. Return to the oven until the cheese is half melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Prepare the garnish ingredients. Heat the olive oil over high heat on a griddle. You can use a non-stick skillet instead of a griddle. Season the ingredients lightly with salt as you go. Sauté the potatoes for 30 seconds Add the bacon and sauté for 1 minute. Lightly dredge the brain cubes with flour and sauté until coloured, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile lightly dredge the sweetbread cubes. Deglaze the griddle with lemon juice and immediately add the sweetbreads. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the foie gras, green onion and pecans and sauté for 30 seconds. Deglaze with the red wine vinegar and adjust the seasoning. Add the arugula, remove the griddle from the heat and set aside.

Place the tourtière on a serving plate. Season the cheese with 4 turns of the pepper mill. Spoon the garnish onto the tourtiere and top with the pastry disc. Serve immediately.

Pie Dough (Pâte Brisée)


225 g (8 oz) cold unsalted butter
275 g (1 ⅔ cups) flour
1 pinch fine salt
70 ml (⅓ cup) cold water


Cut the butter into 2 cm (¾-inch) cubes. Mix the butter, flour and salt together by hand or with a food processor.

Some small pieces of butter about 3 mm (⅛-inch) in diameter should remain in the flour mixture. They will help the pastry cook to perfection.

Mix in the water and form a ball of dough, being careful not to overwork the pastry. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Originally published in Sugar Shack au Pied de Cochon by Martin Picard.