Tourtières at M. Wells in Long Island City in Time for the Holidays

A Tourtiere, which is a meat pie traditionally made in Quebec

Photo credit: Jesse Winter

I got an email newsletter today from M. Wells, the source of all French Canadian food goodness in Queens, updating subscribers on what’s going on with their restaurants—M. Wells Steakhouse (open!) and M. Wells Dinette (new menu!). They also mentioned they are offering tourtières:

The 10-inch pies are filled with an array of birds, brisket, pork, potatoes, spices and draft beer. Each comes with a jar of cranberry ketchup and serves 4 to 6 people.

I have to admit, it sounds delicious. I wanted to learn a little bit more about the tourtière. Turns out it’s a traditional French-Canadian meat pie served during a réveillon, which is a big, long meal traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The fillings vary in different parts of Québec (it’s also eaten in New England here in the US), with coastal areas using fish and inland areas using pork, beef, and wild game (sounds like the ones from M. Wells are more like the inland pies). The name of the dish is based on the vessel this pie was originally cooked in, the tourtière.

Well, I am sorely tempted to order one of these tourtières. They are $45 a pop, and can be ordered by phone (718-786-9060) up until noon Saturday, December 20th (I think they mean the 21st). Pickup is at M. Wells Dinette on Sunday and Monday. It comes frozen (directions come with how to heat it up), which adds a level of convenience. I’ll report back if I buy and eat one.

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