Creton: Wake up to a French-Canadian tradition

thermomix_creton_recipeCreton (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!

click photos for notes
French-Canadian pork spread traditionally eaten on toast for breakfast.
Cuisine: Thermomix
Recipe type: Canadian
  • 500 g. ground pork (combination of pork and beef or veal may be used, but pork should make up at least 50% of the meat)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 slice regular bread
  • ½ tsp. powdered ginger (see note below about using fresh ginger)
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg powder
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. clove powder (see notes below)
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 290 g. milk (works with either full fat or low fat milk)
  1. Add garlic and onion to Thermomix. Chop for 6 seconds/speed 6.
  2. Add meat, all seasonings, and milk. Mix for 10 seconds/REVERSE speed 3.
  3. Make sure the measuring cap is on the lid. Cook 12 minutes/80ºC, REVERSE speed 1.
  4. Keeping the measuring cap on the lid, lower the heat and cook 40 minutes/70ºC/REVERSE speed 1.
  5. Crumble bread in your hands while adding it to the bowl. Continue cooking 10 minutes/80ºC/REVERSE speed 2 with measuring cap removed.
  6. It should now have the consistency of soft porridge. Ladle into small bowls to cool for a few minutes before covering with parchment/wax paper/cling wrap. Refrigerate to set for at least 4 hours. (see additional notes below about molding)
  7. Depending on the fat content of your meat, the result may be anywhere from crumbly to moist paté-like. Best served at room temperature on plain toast (make your own!). Some may want to add a sprinkle of salt after spreading. Can also be served with Dijon mustard and/or with crackers. A quick and hearty breakfast for week-end warriors and energetic athletes heading out to a morning practice. Y-u-m-m-y.

Want more?

  • Cretons is similar to rillettes — a chunky, spreadable paté of meat or fish. For a fresh way of making salmon paté try Salmon Rillettes >

See 12 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. Name April 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    Too easy in my Bimby. Interesting flavour combo.
    Is liverwurst next?


  2. ThermomixBlogger Helene April 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Liverwurst? I wish? Do you have a recipe for it Gretchen???

  3. Marnie December 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    I made this with pork, beef and veal–about a third of each, with fresh ginger and it was absolutely delicious.

  4. ThermomixBlogger Helene December 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Hi Marnie: Thanks for the feedback! Cretons is such a region-specific cultural specialty that for 99% of the readers here (ie, all those who are not Quebecois) I’m sure it sounds quite unusual… (especially as breakfast fare.) For this reason I’m extra pleased to hear you tried it and enjoyed it.

  5. Marnie December 31, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    Hello Helene, Not only did I enjoy it, but I gave half to my neighbour who is French Canadian, who loved it and had it for breakfast and lunch!

  6. ThermomixBlogger Helene December 31, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Wow – to hear this from a French Canadian is true success. Thanks again Marnie, you just made my day!

  7. Monique July 27, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Can’t wait to try the recipe and give some to my 70 year old father to test. We’re down in Connecticut and have to plead with relatives to bring us cretons when they come to visit from Maine/New Brunswick!


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