Bison & Pork Tourtiere Hand Pies

This article is an oldie but a goodie!

Posted: November 15, 2021

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

Put a spin on this traditional French-Canadian meat pie with pasture-raised Bison. These single-serve hand pies make a great starter or hors d’oeuvre for cocktail hour, or late-night snack on New Year’s Eve. Rich, buttery crust mixed with warm, fragrant spices – this will have everyone feeling festive and cozy. Keep the recipe link handy – you might get a few requests!



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  • 1 lb Thunder Ridge ground bison meat
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 2 medium-sized yellow or white flesh potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup beef, bison or chicken stock
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Savory
  • 1 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Celery Salt
  • 1 tsp Season with salt and pepper

Egg wash

  • 2 large beaten eggs

Butter crust

  1. Cut chilled butter into small diced cubes and put back into fridge to stay cold.
  2. In a food processor or large bowl, measure out flour and salt.
  3. Either using a pastry cutter or the pulse setting on the food processor, cut butter in until the pieces of butter are no bigger than the size of a pea.
  4. Slowly add ice water and either pulse or hand mix until a shaggy dough starts to form. Add a bit more water until you can gather all of the pastry into a ball, but without it being too sticky and wet.
  5. Shape dough ball into a round, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate until your filling is cold and ready.
  6. Roll out 100 gram portions of dough on lightly floured surface to about ¼ cm thick – the dough will be stiff at first, and may crack, but shore up the edges and continue rolling.


  1. Start by adding a tablespoon of cooking oil to a large skillet, and turn the heat to medium. Once pan is hot, but not smoking, add the onion and garlic and stir until fragrant (about 4 minutes).
  2. Next, crumble in the ground bison and pork along with seasonings and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add in the stock and scrape down the sides to mix all the flavors together. Simmer on medium-low heat until the liquid has just evaporated, roughly 30 minutes.
  3. Using a box grater (cheese grater), grate your potatoes into the mixture, stir until mixed, and remove from heat. Let cool for 1 hour, or overnight in the fridge.
  4. Weigh out and place 80-100 gram scoop of your filling into the middle of your rolled out round of crust. Brush outer 1-2 cms of the dough round with water, fold round in half to make a semi-circle pastry filled with your meat filling. The shape is similar to an empanada or calzone.
  5. Crimp edges with tines of a fork, or flute using your fingers.
  6. For the egg wash, simply beat two eggs in a bowl vigorously until combined. Have a pastry brush ready.
  7. With some egg wash, brush the outside of the oval crust. This will make the crust a golden, glossy colour. Make two small cuts with a fork or the tip of a knife in the top of the hand pies to let steam escape.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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