Cretons is a French-Canadian pork pâté and is sometimes known as Gortons around New England. This mildly spiced pork spread is popular in Quebec and areas of New England. It’s delicious served on crostini bread and makes the perfect accompaniment to a charcuterie board.
My grandmother made this recipe often but didn’t have a written recipe. Cretons Maison (house pâté) is a typical “back pocket” recipe, one the cook knows without needing to follow a recipe. Pate Recipes often differ from family to family based on flavors and tastes enjoyed by its family members and are passed down through the generations without much consideration
One day when I was in college, I dropped by my Grandmother’s house unannounced. She was simmering cretons on the back burner of the stove. Generally, she topped hers with a layer of fat across the finished product to seal in the flavor, and that my Grandpa liked it on a slice of toast for breakfast or lunch. She said that this is a recipe that her mother always made and was passed down from my great-grandmother so this is something that is been in my family now for at least five generations, if not more
I have modified this recipe to remove some of the fat but it is still not health food by any stretch of the imagination. No two families have the same recipe for Creton and the flavors are easily altered with the addition or omission of certain spices to make a flavor your family will love.
Cretons Maison Ingredients and Tools:
- Ground Pork – I use Swift Premium but any brand will do.
- Onions – Vidalia or Spanish yellow are both fine.
- Garlic – freshly garlic produces the most flavor.
- Cinnamon – I use organic Saigon cinnamon.
- Allspice – not just for apple pie anymore!
- Salt & Pepper – to taste for seasoning the pork pâté.
- Fresh Bread Crumbs – I use two slices of bread which I form into crumbs using the food processor .
How to prepare this Easy Gortons Recipe:
- Step 1: Simmer the meat and spices
- Step 2: Make the fresh bread crumbs.
- Step 3: Allow the mixture to cool and then blend it in the food processor to your desired consistency. Combine with the bread crumbs.
- Step 4: Cool in the refrigerator allowing the flavors to meld for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Serve and enjoy!
How to Serve French Pate Cretons Traditionnel
Cretons are best served on crostini bread, toast points, or crackers. We enjoy it with a dap of mustard and a small pickle slice. Cretons pork pate makes a great addition to your Holiday Charcuterie board.
Cretons Recipe FAQs
How much is a portion?
For the purposes of this recipe, a serving is 1/4 cup. This is the amount used in the calculation of the nutritional label.
What’s the best way to defrost pork?
- Refrigerator Thawing – plan on 1 full day for a one-pound package of ground pork. After thawing in the refrigerator, items such as ground meat should remain safe and good quality for an additional day or two before cooking.
- Cold Water Thawing – This method is faster than refrigerator thawing but requires more attention. The food must be in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Also, the meat tissue may absorb water, resulting in a watery product. The bag should be submerged in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw. Small packages of meat, about a pound, may thaw in an hour or less. If thawed completely, the food must be cooked immediately.
How to store leftovers?
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Need some other quick appetizers?
Cretons: A French-Canadian Pork Pâté (Potted Meat)
- Small Stock Pot
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp salt , more or less to taste.
- 0.5 tsp pepper
- 2 cups Water Substitute: unsalted chicken stock or beef stock – see notes
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs [about 2 slices of bread]
- Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and gently fry the ground pork until cooked through. While the pork cooks, use a fork to keep crumbling it.
- Add the onion, garlic, spices, salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are soft and translucent. Add the milk or water, then lower the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for about an hour.
- If the mixture starts to dry out add beef stock or water to keep it at a very-thick-sauce consistency. Add bread crumbs and mix to combine. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
- Place the mixture into a glass or ceramic container and seal with plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours to overnight for the best results. Serve with crostini or toast points.