There is a dish that is very common in Quebec that I still haven’t found anywhere else. We call it cretons. It’s a meat spread that one eats on toast for breakfast. It can be made with veal, turkey, pork or chicken. Most people buy it at the store but it’s really not that hard to make.
As I was craving this carnivore breakfast, I pulled out the recipe book my uncle made with my grandma’s favorite recipes and found her veal spread recipe. The recipe is super simple and I feel like even if you change a few ingredients, as long as you follow the basis, you can’t really mess it up. Pick a ground meat (pork, veal, turkey or chicken), some form of liquid (milk or water, generally), the optional breadcrumbs (I used Panko) and season to your liking (ground clove is generally part of it but you could also add nutmeg, cinnamon or dried herbs). Simmer on low heat for several hours and voila! If the texture bothers you, you can always have it go through the food processor…I like it both ways.
Grandma’s Veal Spread/Cretons de veau de grand-maman Yolande
- 1.5 lb of ground pork and veal
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- Salt, pepper
- Celery leaves
- 1 cup of milk
- Cook all the ingredients in a dutch oven (or big saucepan) on low heat.
- Mix regularly at first, then simmer for at least 90 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour into small containers.
- Refrigerate….and/or freeze the spread.
The recipe above is the original, found in my grandma’s cooking notes. I modified it a little bit last time I made it. I used a mixture of veal and turkey, and added clove and nutmeg. Of course, there are many possible variations and you should definitely feel free to experiment!