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- Dish type
This is a Québécois pork spread is similar in taste and texture to a coarse pate. Cretons is best appreciated when spread on wholegrain toast with some onion jam.
42 people made this
- 450g (1 lb) minced pork
- 225ml (8 fl oz) semi skimmed milk
- 1 onion, chopped
- chopped garlic to taste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- 30g (1 oz) dried breadcrumbs
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr10min ›Ready in:1hr20min
- Place the pork, milk, onion and garlic into a large saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, cloves and allspice. Cook over medium heat for about 1 hour, then stir in the breadcrumbs. Cook for 10 more minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Transfer to a small container and keep refrigerated.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(53)
Reviews in English (43)
I moved to Canada a couple of years ago and 'discovered' cretons when dining at Cora's. Since then I've been looking for a good recipe, and this one is pretty good.I've made it a few times and it's really rather easy.The difference between my method and the one stated is that I stagger the addition of the ingredients rather than adding them all at once.So I cook the pork first- just so that the fat starts melting and the meat begins to change colour- then I add the onions and leave it for about 5-10 minutes for the pork to cook further and the onions to soften a little.I then add the garlic and spices/seasoning and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the milk.I appreciate that might not be the traditional Quebecois method, but I'm happier cooking the pork first and the end result is much like the version served at Cora's that I was trying to imitate.In future I might commit heresy and try flavouring it with caraway and celery seeds for something a little more Polish in character, or maybe smoked paprika and garlic for a Balkan flavour.As the original recipe stands, it makes a very simple, quick pâté- like spread, which is delicious on toast and which my whole family seems to like.Highly recommended.-14 Nov 2016
Great recipe! However, the recipe does not mention that you cannot use lean ground pork for this (that is probably why some people found it not easy to spread).Another trick to increase creaminess: use an immersion blender after 20 min. of cooking. It improves the texture (if you want smoother cretons, that is).It taste a lot better with fresh bread crumbs as well (if using fresh, increase to 1/2 cup. Traditional recipe call for 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs, but it is a bit much for my taste).I am an unrooted french canadian, so I was glad to find this recipe, which is a staple in our household!-25 Sep 2005
I am of Quebecois heritage, and this recipe is really quite good. A few things I might suggest...This is a very old recipe, and the quality of our meats have changed dramatically since these recipes originated.Our pork is way too lean to make this recipe accurately. In order to reach the proper texture, taste, consistency, I added 1/2 cup of lard (yes,lard)to the ingredients.Pork fat is imperative if you want cretons to taste/look anything like they should.We also ate our cretons with more spice than this recipe calls for. 1/2 tsp ground clove, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon.Also make sure to add plenty of salt for seasoning..I highly recommend this recipe!-06 Oct 2011
Cretons Quebec Homemade Tips
Cretons are a delicatessen close to Mans rillettes, made with ground pork and prepared in a pan (unlike Mans rillettes which are made of pieces of pork pulled with a fork after slow cooking in the oven).
Creton: Wake up to a French-Canadian tradition
Creton (pronounced crUH-ton) was the breakfast of choice for the French settlers of Canada. Growing up as I did in the Quebec countryside near Montreal, reminders of pioneer life were easily found close to home. The land outside our door was vast and its history, rich. The traditional creton recipe is a blend of pork and exotic spices, congealed and then spread on toast. In a harsh winter climate it made perfect sense to eat such a breakfast before heading into the forest on snowshoes. Today it makes sense because it tastes so gourmet good.
Though the traditional creton recipe is upheld to this day, some now serve it more discerningly as a snack or appetizer (also substituting leaner meats). Still, this medley of simple farmhouse ingredients is elevated by the addition of a few unexpected aromatic seasonings. The result is a surprising, subtle, sublime savoury sensation. It’s a recipe that requires slow cooking with constant stirring, something the Thermomix does so very well. For me creton is synonymous with a childhood in Canada’s French province. My mother’s kitchen always smelled warmly of tradition, family, hard work, and joie de vivre. On the best of days, our house was infused with the spicy aroma of simmering creton. Bon appétit tout le monde!
In the old days when killing a fattened pig in the autumn was a way of life in French Canada, making cretons was one delicious way of preserving meat for the winter. For this reason, meat with a generous layer of fat helped in the conservation of this homemade pork spread. Today, leaner meat can be used, but should still have some fat so that the cretons spreads easily on hot bread.
Cretons - French Canadian Meat Spread
Delightful Repast is all about comfort food. And Cretons (pronounced kreh-tohn) – French Canadian Meat Spread – is one of the classic Quebecois comfort foods my husband grew up with.
As with Tourtiere – French Canadian Meat Pie , Mr Delightful hadn't had this dish since his Mémé died many years ago. I decided to give it a try.
Knowing Mr Delightful’s “texture issues” (he won’t touch pâté, hummus, guacamole, dips of any kind), I couldn’t quite believe that he ate and enjoyed cretons in his youth!
With that in mind, I decided to make just a small batch. But I needn’t have worried. It was a hit! Especially on my toasted Homemade Sourdough Sandwich Bread .
Though it is traditionally spread on toast and served for breakfast, we had it for lunch, since we nearly always have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. Mustard and gherkins (cornichons would be good) are the traditional go-withs.
I wanted to take an “in progress” cooking photo, but cretons really isn’t that photogenic while it’s cooking. But you can see in the photos of the finished product that I left it just a bit chunky.
I thought of giving it a few licks with the immersion blender, which you can do if you want a smoother spread, but what with Mr Delightful’s aforementioned issues I thought I better leave it alone.
Have you ever made, or had, cretons? For breakfast, or as an hors d’oeuvre?
Cretons - French Canadian Meat Spread
(Makes three 3/4-cup pots)
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) pastured ground pork
1 small (4 ounces/113 grams) yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 packed cup soft breadcrumbs
1 In 2-quart saucepan, combine all ingredients except the breadcrumbs. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a large fork until the meat is broken up into crumbles and not clumping together.
2 Simmer, covered, for 2 hours.* Check it every half hour or so to make sure there is enough liquid, adding a little water if necessary. There was no need for me to add liquid as there was plenty of fat in the ground pork.
* I just have to show you my new ThermoWorks Christopher Kimball Signature Timer . I've had it since October, and I think it's the best purchase I've made all year! Sleek and unbulky but with bigger buttons, and it's two timers in one. Great gift idea, too. I want to buy one for everyone!
This is a very basic recipe, and if I were craving cretons and didn't have any availiable at the grocery's, I would make this one as a last resort, but I have a very similar recipe that uses evaporated milk instead of regular milk, unflavoured gelatin, and a lot less garlic. I use granulated garlic sparingly (about a teaspoon) instead of a real clove, because it's just too fragrant. I also find that using a half-porc, half-veal mixture for the meat makes it much more spreadable. I'll use lean veal and extra lean porc. After you are done cooking it, place it in the food processor for a few spins. About half of the creton varieties you will find at the grocery's have been food-processed. I enjoy them either way. Great on toast, baguette, but a really scrumptious treat is having it on a freshly baked croissant. Mmmm.
This is not a spread. You absolutely should not cook this on medium for an hour. My pan burned because of course all of the liquid evaporated out of it and the end result is ground meat not a spread. The taste was good and I made a sandwich out of it, but I would not make this again.
Great basic recipe ! I am from Quebec and this is very similar to an old family recipe. Please do not try to get a "spread" smooth as creamy peanut butter (this is the stuff you find in grocery stores out of Quebec and not the real texture. ). You do not need to put the cooked mixture in a food processor at the end. it just takes the spirit out of it. . It should have some "grains" and the fat will make it stick together when you spread it. Make sure you do not use lean pork and you do not need to put butter or oil in it when you start. Let is simmer for an hour in a covered pot and stir from time to time. Good luck !
This recipe works well and tastes great warm but at refridge' temps is a little flat. Bumping up the seasoning would help. This and virtually all foods prepared hot but served cold, should taste a bit salty and over-spiced to have the desired result when cold. Now can anyone who grew up on Cretons tell me what the consistency of the final product should be? My first attempt is about as spreadable as cold Peanut Butter. Thanks. JJ
I made this recipe for my husband, he is originally from Montreal, Canada, and Creton is one thing he misses terribly, he loved it. Great recipe.
This recipe is a very old one. As with ones that are passed down from Mere Mere, pronouced "meh-may". (grandmother). These recipes vary greatly. From Cretons with spices to ones that have hardly any. I tend to like the spices, and the oldest recipe I have found includes these wonderful spices. This recipe was made for me over 20 years ago from a friend that we were stationed with in the Air Force. She was very "French Canadian" and spoke it often. Once having this recipe, I was hooked with French Canadian Cuisine. This recipe was left a little bland for me. Many have had a hard time with this one. But you must be patient with this one. It takes a long time to cook. And even if the liquid looks all gone, keep stirring and at the end when all of it is still hot, turn it in a food processor. Just to get that perfect Puree. Press it in a loaf pan. Then you can turn it out and make slices to match the size of the bread. This is a fantastic breakfast. As they say: Çé tsiguidou. (everythings A-Okay, or everythings alright)
A French Canadian Treat: Creton
I was at my sister-in-law’s the other day and we were of course eating one of her fab meals and of course the whole family was doing what they always do-talking about food and the reminiscing began about the foods that we loved at our Gran’s tables and how now we were actually cooking more and more like them on our quest to get processed foods out of our houses.
I brought up lunches and how they were always hard for us and likely to to get more difficult when small one goes to school next fall and will need hers packed each evening. I mentioned that on Sundays I often cooked an extra roast, chicken or ham and had the cold meat on hand then for quick grabs. I also mentioned that when I really had my stuff together I would make pots of pate that would then disappear almost as quickly as I made them.
She brought up that she’d been making creton lately. Creton is a fabulous meat spread that is super popular in Quebec. Her kids love it in their sandwiches or on crackers for snacks.
She used her mom’s recipe, which she quite rightly feels is the best, but I was reminded of my Gran’s version that we would have on chilly days. We’d be outside cutting and stacking wood for the winter for the morning. At lunch all of us would sit in the farm’s kitchen, around the big table full of pickles, bread, biscuits and the ever present jug of syrup that mopped up any extra bits off of our plates.
After a little dig I was able to find the ingredients for her recipe but no method so…I winged it and honestly-I love this. I want it all the time.
I want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I hope that you will too.
This is a really old-fashioned recipe that is weirdly perfect for our busy, modern lives.
It’s inexpensive, goes a long way with a little meat and keeps well in the fridge for the whole week.
I’m going to experiment in the next bit by making this in my slowcooker but for now I went old school on the stovetop. Warning, this takes a bit of time to cook.
It doesn’t need to be babied but it does burble away for 3 hours. Eeek! I know, sounds impossible but all you have to do is bung everything in your pot and slowly boil until your meat has totally broken down.
If it looks a teeny bit dry, just add a bit of water and continue to boil.
Onions, garlic, cloves, savory, allspice and ground pork are sauteed together until the pink is gone. Milk and chicken stock are added and everything just bubbles along until all the sinews in the meat are gone. That’s all you need. No fat draining, no playing with it-just cook away.
Densely pack into containers that have tight-fitting lids and let cool completely.
Great on a ploughman’s plate with pickles, cheese and crusty bread.
To all the memeres and good French Canadian ladies out there. I know we all have little tweaks and twists to our recipes. This is passed down from my grand memere.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 pounds 80 percent lean ground pork
1 large white onion (softball size), finely diced
4 whole cloves ground (never use ground cloves)
1?4 cup cornstarch for slurry (1:2 parts ration for slurry –
1?4 cup corn starch to 1?2 cup water)
1. In large pot add oil and cook ground pork, on medium heat, until half way cooked. Be very careful not to brown the pork.
2. Add diced onion and stir till onions are translucent and pork is cooked through. Again do not brown meat.
3. Add all spices and stir.
4. Add water. Depending on pot size and depth, water amount will change. You are trying to just cover the pork by a 1?2 inch
5. Simmer for 2 1?2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Do not boil.
6. When water is below pork and the mixture looks to hold its own structure, add salt and pepper to taste, adjust seasons if needed. If OK, add slurry and stir for 2 minutes.
7. Pour and cool on counter for 2 hours, then wrap and move to fridge overnight
8. Tip: It is easier to cool it as one big batch, then divide it into smaller portions and freeze (or give as gifts if you are really nice). It can be frozen for up to three months and keeps in the fridge for a week or more. It is great as a spread with cheese. We grew up eating it on toast or English muffins with dijon mustard. It also can be used for meat for a sandwich.
Cretons De Quebec Recipe
Cretons de Quebec is an old-school French-Canadian breakfast favorite. It's usually served on toast or plain bread. Although I got this from the site listed below, it is very much like my Mother in laws recipe. Read more We also like it on crackers or rye crackers for an appitizer. See less
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- 1 pound pork or turkey sausage
- 2 cups milk
- 1 onion - finely diced
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- salt and pepper to taste
- bread crumbs - if desired
- 1 pound pork or turkey sausageshopping list
- 2 cups milkshopping list
- 1 onion - finely diced shopping list
- 1 clove garlic - minced shopping list
- 1 pinch ground clovesshopping list
- 1 pinch ground allspiceshopping list and pepper to taste shopping list crumbs - if desired shopping list
How to make it
- Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat until browned.
- Drain away the fat. Add milk, onion, garlic, and spices. Continue simmering on medium-low heat, stirring often, until milk evaporates.
- Allow the spread to cool. Serve on toast.
- If you like a thicker spread, you can add bread crumbs to cooked sausage. No more than a quarter cup.
- Mr Breakfast would like to thank MrBreakfast.com for this recipe.
- Recipe number 1595. Submitted 12/8/2005.
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MMMHHH Had this a while ago in Hull. Looking forward to having it again now. Thanks for the memory. Laura
I've seen and tasted a few versions of this. FAbulous on rye toast.
How To Make Croutons
The best things in life are simple and these croutons are no exception. We provide a basic recipe below for easy, crunchy baked croutons, ready for you to customize with whatever spices you'd like. They're great all-year round as a topping on easy summer salads or hearty fall soups or just as a snack!
Choose your bread
We prefer a crusty bread like a sourdough boule or French-style baguette: the open crumb structure creates perfect pockets where the seasoning can fall into, plus, the whimsically irregular shapes look adorable. At the end of the day, croutons are just crispy bites of toasted bread, so you can use absolutely any kind of bread for this recipe. Older, staler bread that's more dehydrated will toast and bake faster than fresh bread. Size also matters here: the smaller the bread cubes, the shorter the total baking time.
Choose your fat
A mix of olive oil and melted butter gives you the best of both worlds in terms of both flavor and color. Feel free to use only oil or only butter, as long as you follow this general rule of thumb: for the most flavorful croutons, use one tablespoon of fat per slightly heaping cup of cubed bread.
Choose your flavors
The only truly non-negotiable "spice" in this ingredient list is kosher salt. Everything else&mdashfrom black pepper to rosemary to Parmesan&mdashis up to personal preference. You can use any dried spice or herb that clings easily to the oiled bread: ranch powder for a bit of a junk-food vibe, smoked paprika or cayenne for a hint of spice, or curry powder for an aromatic, savory blend. (If using cheese, go for a hard, aged cheese with very low moisture content for the crispiest croutons.) The sky is the limit!
How long do croutons last?
The expected shelf-life for homemade croutons is about two weeks. Moisture encourages mold, so make sure your croutons are completely dehydrated during the bake and let cool completely at room temperature before storing them away in an airtight container. Humidity is the enemy, so keep 'em in a dry place for maximum shelf-life.
If you've made these, leave a rating and a comment down below to let us know how you liked it!