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PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

The pâté chinois is literally translated as "chinese pie" however in spite of its name it has nothing to do with China. It is similar to the english Shepherd's or cottage pie and the french hachis parmentier with slightly different ingredients.
A pie with different layers and three basic ingredients: ground beef meat, corn and potatoes. There are many variants but we will go with the classic recipe

It is one of the most popular dishes in the province of Québec, Canada. A great comfort food classic of this region, very typical on sunday's family gatherings and special occasions. It is actually a very simple recipe with basic ingredients yet delicious and comforting, one of those dishes that reminds you of home.

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

And you will be asking yourselves, why chinese pie if it is not chinese!!??. The origin of the name is nowadays still unclear. There are a few theories about it although the most divulged is that in the late 19th century there were a lot of chinese people working on the railways construction and they used to eat fair amounts of ground meat, corn and potatoes in some kind of Shepherd's pie version but more adapted to the local products.

The origin of pâté chinois is so confusing there is even a book called something like "The inexplicable mistery of pâté chinois" wherein various hypothesis are raised that have nothing to do with the popular belief. 
 This pie also considered as a national dish has even become a favourite amongst the new chefs generation that try to turn it into a gastronomic dish.  

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

I'm not a big meat eater but this is one of those occasions where I make an exception and I can assure you I always eat twice. Or three...

I supose some of you might be tempted by the idea of making the potato mash using those infamous envelopes filled with who-knows-what because let's be honest that is definately not potatoes. Even if that idea seduces you in order to save some time please, don't do it. Making a homemade mashed potatoes is the easiest thing to do, it is quick and rewarding, the texture and flavour is a totally different story and of course there is no need to say it is way much healthier

It is normally baked using a large baking dish however I love the idea of serving it individually using ramequines or little cocottes like these, specially if you have guests.

So let's get started with the recipe of my beloved pâté chinois (gluten and lactose free), 100% homemade and made with love, because that's how it should be done :)

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec



  • 800 gr. potatoes (about 6-7medium size)
  • 500 gr. beef minced meat 
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
  • 300 gr. cooked sweet corn (canned or combs) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp. butter (lactose free or regular)
  • 400 ml. rice milk (o other)
  • 2 tbsp. rice cream (or regular cream)
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread crubs (gluten free or regular)
  • Sweet paprika (to garnish)
PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. First we make the potato mash. (I normally use Thermomix but it can be perfectly done with a sauce pan and a blender as I explain below).
  3. Peel and cut the potatoes. Wash them and cut into small pieces. Put in a large sauce pan along with the milk, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are completely soft.
  4. Once done mash the potatoes using a blender until it gets creamy. Add the butter and mix again a few seconds.
  5. Shred the corn a bit with the cream using the blender and reserve.
  6. In a pan with some oil sauté the onion, garlic and minced meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once cooked and golden remove from heat. 
  7. Pour the meat in a baking dish, make some pressure with a spatula to make the first layer. 
  8. Make the second layer with the corn covering it all.
  9. Then make the third and last layer covering with the mashed potatoes.   
  10. Sprinkle some bread crumbs and paprika and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Then leave there for 10 minutes only with the grill.
  11. Remove from the oven and that's it, ready to eat!

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

PÂTÉ CHINOIS, traditional dish from Québec

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