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Cretons with Maple Syrup

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A favorite for breakfast among Quebecois, cretons are a great way to start your day.  Spread cold cretons on toast or add to crackers for a party favorite.

Cretons cooling.


In no particular order, add the following to a large saucepan:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork (low fat if you can find it)
  • 1 large finely chopped yellow onion (not the sweet, but a regular onion)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 very generous teaspoon of maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (or substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg)
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk

Simmer, stirring occasionally for 1.5 hours with no cover on the saucepan.
If mixture becomes very dry, slowly add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water while stirring.

After 1.5 hours, continue simmering while adding 1/2 cup of fine breadcrumbs
(substitute almond meal or buckwheat flour) to absorb any water.
Continue stirring until breadcrumbs are mixed well, maybe 3 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes, then pack into small containers.
Makes about 12 8-ounce containers that freeze well and thaw very quickly.

Although not my grandmother’s creton recipe, this is as close as I have come.
Some families add brandy or whiskey instead of maple syrup.
There’s no wrong or right way; just good French-Canadian eating.