Cipaille or Cipate, a Layered Meat Pie, is a Québécoise classic dish, much beloved throughout the province. The flavor is deep and rich. The term fundamentally means that you don’t care what you put into the pie.  This is rustic cooking based from Canada’s French roots, when meat was hunted and stored.
Cipaille or Cipate (Layered Meat Pie)

Cipaille or Cipate (Layered Meat Pie)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Traditionally this layered pie is best made with game. Failing a supply of venison or pheasant it can be made with a mixture of meats and poultry as is this recipe.
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 2 pounds boneless pheasant, duck or chicken meat
  • 2 pounds lean venison or beef
  • 2 pounds lean pork
  • 4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 pound salt pork, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice
  • 2 Cups chicken stock (approximate)
  • 1 short crust pie dough (recipe follows)
Short crust Pie Dough
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup water
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 3⁄4 Cup vegetable shortening or lard
Pastry for double crust pie
  1. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and water.
  2. In another bowl, mix all purpose flour with vegetable shortening, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Stir liquid in with two knifes, until the dough gathers into ball.
  4. Cover and chill dough for an hour.
  1. Cut chicken, beef and pork into 1 inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Combine with onions; cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight.
  2. Arrange salt pork evenly in the bottom of a 3 quart casserole, preferably cast iron with a cover. Layer with 1/3 of the meat mixture and 1/3 of the potatoes; season with 1/3 of salt, pepper and spices.
  3. Roll out half of the pastry slightly thicker than for a normal pie and arrange on the potato layer, cutting a small hole in the centre.
  4. Repeat with 2 more layers of meat and potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper and spices. Cover with remaining pastry, cutting a small hole in the centre.
  5. Slowly add enough chicken stock through the hole until liquid appears. Cover dish and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until liquid simmers.
  6. Reduce temperature to 250 degrees F and continue to bake, covered, for 5 to 6 hours more or until top crust is a rich golden brown.

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