Evelyn Chartres Author

Cretons

This is a classic French-Canadian breakfast spread. Made with pork, onions, spices and served over bread, this dish can be readily found in any Québec kitchen. While this spread can be served straight, many will enhance the flavour with mustard.

In English Canada this dish will typically get some confused looks. However, this dish should be judged with your tastebuds!

Ingredients

  • ¾ pounds (340 g) of cubed lean pork
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) of dry breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of water
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.63 ml) of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients into a pot. Bring to boil while stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Simmer with a closed lid for an hour.
  3. Remove from heat then let cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Use a blender until you have a smooth texture.
  5. Let cool then refrigerate overnight.

Cipaille

Sea Pie

featured_cipaille_webI saw an article about Quebe’c Secret Meat Pie. Cipaille is a recipe which hails from my mother’s side of the family.  After a bit of research and I was able to adjust my mother’s recipe to be more historically accurate.  Now this recipe features six layers and uses quatre épices which is popular in French Canadian cooking.

This recipe is said to have origins from within the British Navy. It features a deep-dish pie which features three meats and potatoes.  The cloves give it a distinctive flavour which really makes this unique among my recipes.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2½ cups (590 ml) of sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk

Cipaille

  • ½ pound (225 g) of porc
  • ½ pound (225 g) of beef
  • ½ pound (225 g) of chicken
  • 4 ounces (115 g) of onions
  • 3 cloves (9-15 g) of garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1½ pounds (700 g) of potatoes
  • 30 fluid ounces (900 ml) of chicken broth

Preparation

  1. Cut pork, beef and chicken into small ½ inch (125 mm) cubes.
  2. Mince onions and garlic.
  3. In a small bowl add pork, beef, chicken, onions are garlic. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and salt then knead until you have a consistent finish.
  4. Cover bowl then place in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat oven at 300°F (150°C).
  6. Cut potatoes into cubes then set aside.
  7. Except for ½ cup (120 ml) of flour, place ingredients for the crust into a medium-sized bowl.  Knead and add remaining flour until your dough is no longer sticky.
  8. In a 4 quart (3.7 l) pot, layer half of the meat mix, layer half of the potatoes and cover with half the dough.
  9. Repeat with the remaining half of meat, potatoes and dough.  Make a hole in the middle of the dough down to the bottom of the pot.  This will allow you to monitor fluid levels.
  10. Pour chicken broth into the hole until level with upper crust.
  11. Place in oven for 5 to 6 hours.  Check levels from time to time, adding remaining broth until ready.
  12. Remove from oven and meal is ready-to-serve.