We serve the traditional French Canadian tourtiere, or mince meat pie on Christmas Eve or Reveillon.

French Canadian Tourtiere pateCamales1


  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 sheets of pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (see below)

In a saucepan, combine pork, beef, onion, garlic, water, salt, thyme, sage, black pepper and cloves. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).  Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust. Place top crust on top of pie and pinch edges to seal. Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape. Cover edges of pie with strips of aluminum foil.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove foil and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pie Crust

And a new source for a crust that I’d like to try next with the pie recipe, as adapted from Bacon 24/7 by Theresa Gilliam.



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Healthy pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs clarified bacon fat, chilled
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 6-8 tbs ice cold water

To make the CRUST: combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and bacon fat and use a pastry blender or two forks to cut the fat into the flour, until the fat is the size of peas. Add the vinegar and the water and stir gently until the dough has mostly come together. Use your clean hands to briefly knead the dough for about 30 seconds, just to get the rest of the little crumbly bits to incorporate into the dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


At the château, our Christmas Day menu always features a bowl of nuts to be cracked by hand, a bûche de Noël, appetizers including pickled herring and foie gras, a little caviar, and smoked whitefish or salmon, while we await the main courses and deserts featured below.  Some say that pickled herring is an acquired tasted, but its the perfect balance of tartness, sweetness and spice to us.  We like it in wine sauce, versus the cream sauce.

Spiral Cut Ham with Cinnamon Glaze

Pre-heat oven to 325°F.  Shake 1 T. flour in Reynolds Oven Bag and seal ham inside with the cut end down.  Cut six 1/2-inch slits in the top of the bag.  Bake for 2 hours or the directions contained on the ham, depending on weight.  Let stand in oven bag 15 minutes.

Baked Pineapplepineapple bake

  • 50 oz. cans pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 stack Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 1/2 sticks melted butter

Spray large baking pan, 15″ x 10″, with Pam. (I use a regular cake pan.) Put drained pineapple in baking pan. Mix flour and sugar, and sprinkle over pineapple. Sprinkle cheese and crushed crackers over, then pour melted butter over mixture. Bake 30 min. at 350 degrees.

Mom’s Frosted Cut-Out Christmas Cookies

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. shorteningChristmas Cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 5-6 c. flour

Mix in order given, all but flour.  Stir in flour.  Cut into fourths.  Roll out.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes on sheets.

For the icing:

  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • Dash salt
  • ¼ c. Crisco shortening
  • ½ t. almond extract
  • 1/3-1/2 c. milk

Combine to wedding cake frosting-like consistency.  Frost and decorate with sugar sprinkles.

Grandma’s Fudge

  • 4 ½ c. sugarfudge
  • 1 can carnation milk
  • Boil for 13 minutes.
  • Add ½ bag marshmallows.  Stir until mixed.
  • Add:  12 oz chocolate chips, 1 c. nuts, 8 t. margarine.  Add 2 T. vanilla and/or maple flavoring.  Pour into pan when sticky.

Grandma’s Divinity

  • 3 c. sugar
  • ½ c. kero syrup
  • ½ c. water

Cook for 13 minutes on medium heat.  Beat in 3 egg whites, stirring constantly.  Add vanilla and almond extract.  Drop onto waxed paper in balls.

For the Left Over Ham

Make some buttermilk biscuits or buy some Hawaiian Dinner Rolls from your grocer, and be prepared for the day after the holiday with these.  Butter both sides heavily and insert a small piece of the leftover ham in the center.  Serve warm.   This works equally well with Virginia ham, as opposed to the spiral cut hams.  Pimento cheese is an optional insert, as well.

Roasted Chestnuts Over an Open Firepickled herring

Pickled Herring on Saltines