Tourtière Tartlets with Mandarin Orange Cranberry Relish

Traditionally served on Christmas Eve as a whole pie, this switch-up on the classic tourtière can be enjoyed in smaller portions. These tarts freeze well and just need to be reheated before serving. Enjoy a fruit chutney, chili sauce or the Mandarin Orange Cranberry Relish (recipe follows) on top for added kick, or serve as a first-course on a bed of greens with hot pepper jelly.


2 tbsp (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb (500 g) lean ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) sliced mushrooms
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
¾ cup(175 mL) beef stock
½ tsp (2 mL) dried savoury or thyme leaves
¼ tsp (1 mL) each cinnamon and cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped Italian parsley

2½ cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) vegetable shortening
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Ice water


  1. For pastry, combine flour, shortening and salt using pastry blender or fork until crumbly mixture forms. Add enough ice water to form dough. Knead gently and form into a ball. Divide into 2 discs and wrap with plastic wrap. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. For filling, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and cook pork until no longer pink. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery and carrot. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until soft and starting to turn golden brown. Add beef stock, savoury, cinnamon and cloves. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until almost no liquid remains. Season with salt and pepper. Add bread crumbs and parsley and stir to combine. Let cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
  4. Roll out 1 disc of the pastry on floured surface to ¼- inch (5-mm) thickness. Using 5-inch (12-cm) round cookie cutter, cut out 6 circles and place in muffin tins. Repeat with other disc of dough. Fill shells with pork mixture.
  5. Knead together remaining pastry and roll out to ¼-inch (5-mm) thickness and use 2½-inch (6-cm) round cookie cutter to fit top of tarts. If desired, cut a small star shape with cookie cutter in centre of each round and place on top of filling.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12 tartlets

Mandarin Orange Cranberry Relish


2 mandarin oranges, scrubbed
2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
¾ cup (175 mL) finely chopped toasted walnuts
1 tbsp (15 mL) Grand Marnier


  1. Using zester or rasp, remove 1½ tsp (7 mL) of the mandarin rind. reserve. Peel and section mandarins.
  2. In food processor, pulse mandarin sections and cranberries until chopped. Scrape into bowl.
  3. Add sugar, walnuts, Grand Marnier and mandarin rind and stir well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Serves 8 to 10