Cast Iron

Conton / Creton French Canadian Pork Spread

January 23, 2018
7 Ratings
Photo by Roger Dube
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 4 hours
  • Makes Approx. 4 Cups
Author Notes

This recipe comes from my Paternal Grandmother. My Grandparents were from Canada, and, growing up, I could barely understand their English LOL. However, the second MOST amazing recipe I learned from Grams was Conton. The FIRST was her Tortiere (which is here as well). Now I know there are different spellings, as many as the recipes, but This is hers.....with a few tweeks. Ya see, they didn't have much, and used spices sparingly. According to my Parents and other Relatives from that side.....she would have been honored. So...I hope you try, and enjoy!!! PLEASE forgive the photo....I still follow my Grandparents' way of THRIFT! —Roger Dube

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds Ground Pork Butts (pre-ground or grind your own)
  • 4 tablespoons Lard
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Clove
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
  1. If you grind your own pork butt, grind twice. In the mean-time, melt the lard and let cool to room temp.
  2. Add water and lard to 3qt pan and heat on low. Add ground pork and spices and mix thoroughly.
  3. ***'s a little glitch....IF you're working on a gas stove, place some kind of heat diffuser over the flame. I use a cast iron skillet. This prevents frying on the bottom. Electric stoves....just be gentle.
  4. Simmer, stirring and breaking up the pork. You MUST use your discretion on this. Once the pink of the pork is gone and the fat and liquid are level with the meat, lower the heat AND if it seems to 'chunky', hit it with a stick blender until you get the consistency you like.
  5. Simmer for 30 more minutes. Then, take a teaspoon of the mix, put it on a saucer and chuck it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. After which, take it out and taste it. If not enough spice, adjust and give it another 20 min. If good, ladle into 1 cup containers and let cool.
  6. MAKE SURE YOU STIR BEFORE AND AFTER EACH LADLING......ya gotta have the little skim of fat on the top!!
  7. With my taste, for this recipe, the total spices, except for salt, were doubled.
  8. Had to add times....prep and cook times will VARY

See what other Food52ers are saying.

6 Reviews

Kateyes February 4, 2023
When I was young my mom cooked this and I'm glad I found it so I can make my own 💗
J.LaRoche January 17, 2021
I just had to comment on your recipe. It is almost exactly the same as my dear mom's. You even call it the same conton. The only difference is that my mom added nutmeg and bells seasoning or sage if she didn't have any bells handy and all spices were to taste she never measured. But thanks for posting I enjoyed seeing your recipe and the way you called it conton. Keep cooking and sharing.
Roger D. January 18, 2021
I tried sage once, made it taste like breakfast sausage and Conton, to me, shouldn't. Never tried nutmeg.
[email protected] December 25, 2020
Very good recipe! My husband grew up with this on special holidays with his French-Canadian grandmothers. When we got married, I asked my new mother-in-law for the recipe, and it tasted like poison! Yikes! (WAY too much lard and spices.) This ratio of spices and lard are perfect! My hubby's family always added a chopped onion to theirs at the beginning of the cook, and that's the only change I made to this recipe. This started off his Christmas morning with a big, satisfied smile! Thanks, Roger!
Roger D. December 25, 2020
Was this TODAY??? How awesome that I could share some happiness!! My Canadian Gram only used onion in hers when she made a Tourtiere, but it sounds wonderful. My Gram's recipe for Tourtiere is here too...."Mamere's Tourtiere". SO glad you and your hubby enjoyed....Joyeux Noel!
Roger D. December 25, 2020
BTW, spices are always "to taste"......a little extra lard/fat nowadays is a