Cipaille from Lac St. Jean (layered meat pie) Recipe
Cipaille from Lac St. Jean (layered meat pie)
Flavors of Quebec
Total time: more than 2 hours

Prep. time: Under 30 minutes
Cooking time: About 2 hours 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Cipâte or Cipaille, a layered meat pie from Quebec

Each region of Quebec claims origin of this dish, but it seems the original "six-pâtes" came from Gaspésie. The name is actually a corruption of the English "sea pie," a recipe made with fish and potatoes. 

Others claim that the word comes from the English "six pies," referring to a dish made with 6 layers of pastry encasing 4 kinds of game: duck, moose or elk, hare and partridge. 

In any case, this is a very old recipe, found at Lac St. Jean until the beginning of the 20th century. In the larger towns, the custom gave way to the beef-pork-veal tourtière, with each cook choosing her own proportions. Cipâte or cipaille is still popular, however, in households where there's a hunter, a good reminder of Quebec's ancient culinary roots. 

For the filling
- 250 g (8 oz.) hare or (Rabbit)
- 250 g (8 oz.) elk
- 250 g (8 oz.) partridge
- 250 g (8 oz.) moose
- 250 g (8 oz.) chopped salt pork
- 2 kg (4 1/2 lb.) peeled potato, cubed or sliced
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced

- 1 liter (4 cups) dry red wine
- A handful of coarse sea salt
- 6 large onions, sliced
- Thyme, cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Cinnamon, juniper berries

- 2 liters (8 cups) water
- Bones from the game, with some meat left on
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stalk of celery
- Salt and pepper
  1. Marinate the boned cubed meat for 24 hours in the marinade;
  2. line a tourtière pan or large cast iron pot with the first layer of pastry;
  3. add a layer of potatoes and some sliced onion; cover with a layer of game and one-quarter of the salt pork; 
  4. repeat the process with the second kind of game; 
  5. cover with the top crust; seal the edges using milk or water; 
  6. cut a circle in the center of the top crust and pour in the broth to reach almost to the top; 
  7. cover and bake, covered, at 300°F (160° C) for 3 hours; remove the lid and let the crust brown. 

Preparing the broth 

  1. place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 2 hours; 
  2. strain; add the strained liquid from the marinade in a proportion of 1 part marinade to 3 parts broth;
  3. correct the seasoning.
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