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What to Order at Au Pied de Cochon, Montreal

Just what is duck in a can, anyway?
Posted October 15, 2019 by Stephanie

There are three must eat restaurants in Montreal, according to Mike: Joe Beef, Toque!, and of course, Au Pied de Cochon. On our last trip to Montréal, we were lucky to eat at all three.

The funny thing is, both Joe Beef and Au Pied de Cochon are notoriously difficult to get in to. I’ve read online that people plan their trips to Montreal around reservations. But, we happen to be pretty flexible about eating times and Mike is a genius when it comes to finding last minute reservations, so we managed to sneak into both for very late night dinners, which were actually at the perfect time for our west coast tummies.

I went into Pied de Cochon not knowing much at all, aside from the fact that it was a place that Bourdain ate at (and loved) while filming the Montreal episode of No Reservations. Mike didn’t tell me anything aside from the fact that they were known for their poutine.

I did some rapid googling desperate to know what we should order. The PDC (what the restaurant affectionately calls themselves) website doesn’t have a menu so I had to rely on a bunch of random internet review sites. Sometimes I hate the modern world. There’s just too much information at our fingertips. It makes it so hard for someone like me to resist being surprised. I feel like I can’t go into something blind, without at least taking a peek at what’s on offer. It’s a disease.

Anyway, after some light internet stalking, I discovered that the must orders were: the foie gras poutine, the duck in a can, the stuffed PDC and foie gras, and the maple pudding chomeur. The menu actually changes, but these are the mainstays, for a reason.

We wanted to try the stuffed PDC, which is an entire pork trotter deboned and stuffed with foie and mushrooms on top of a bed of mashed potatoes covered with caramelized onion, tomato, mushroom gravy. It sounded amazing but insanely large. Could we possibly finish it!? Could we go to restaurant called Au Pied de Cochon and not order the pied de cochon? There was so much on the menu that sounded good: duck in a can, shepherd’s pie, pork shrimp foie gras dumplings, tripe and tomato sauce…the list goes on.

After chatting with the friendly server, we decided on the foie cromesquis, the foie poutine, the duck in a can, and the pork chop.

Foie Gras Comesquis | what to order at pied de cochon | www.iamafoodblog.com

Foie Gras Cromesquis
THIS. THIS IS A MUST ORDER. Not that many people talk about it on the internet and I’m not sure why but if you reached this page because you are looking for what to order at Au Pied du Cochon, I beg you, order the cromesquis. A cromesquis is an old school hors d’oeuvre that’s kind of like a croquette but with a more liquid-y center that’s supposed to explode in your mouth when you eat it. At PDC, it’s essentially deep-fried foie. A perfectly golden crispy cube of molten rich foie deliciousness. They tell you to let it cool down a little so it doesn’t burn you. We let ours cool down to the perfect temperature and it was a revelation. Honestly the best bite I had all year and Mike agreed. We immediately wanted to order 6 more but then the foie gras poutine came.


Foie Gras Poutine | what to order at pied de cochon | www.iamafoodblog.com

Foie Gras Poutine
Do you love poutine? I do. I love it with a passion. I also love foie. Combine the two and of course you have a winner. Super rich foie infused gravy, giant squeaky cheese curds, fries, and chunks of seared foie?! I’m so in. Both Mike and I agreed that this was an amazing poutine. We both also thought that the fries could have been a bit crispier and that it was was salty AF. But, barring those two issues, it was brilliant. The cheese curds were fresh, squeaky, and just on the verge of melting, while retaining their shape, which is very important.


Duck in a Can | what to order at pied de cochon | www.iamafoodblog.com

Duck in a Can
What the heck is duck in a can you ask? They also call it canard en conserve (literally duck in a can in French) and it’s essentially half a duck breast, a lobe of foie, balsamic demi glacé, cabbage, roasted garlic, and thyme all sealed up in a can and then cooked, sous vide for exactly 27 minutes. They open the can up right next to you at the table, flip it over, then gently shake everything out on top of two slabs of toast and celeriac purée. It’s pure ducky goodness and uber rich. The foie was melt in your mouth perfectly cooked, but not seared, obviously. The sous vide definitely worked for the foie, but was just a touch questionable in regards to the duck skin. If you’re used to duck with the fat rendered out and the skin being crispy, this might not be the dish for you. We loved it but be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart.


PDC Pork Chop | what to order at pied de cochon | www.iamafoodblog.com

PDC Pork Chop
This was a thick cut pork chop covered in a rich wine and mushroom sauce with caramelized onions and cabbage. It was juicy, smoky, and THICC. It was done very well and we liked it a lot but at this point I was very much done with food and didn’t really think about it much. We made a valiant effort but took most of it home with it. It tasted amazing the next day, even after I microwaved it to make it hot.

That was it! I so wanted to order the maple pudding chomeur, which is a Quebec staple, kind of like a sticky toffee pudding-ish vanilla cake cooked in a creamy maple sauce, but I was basically dead.

It was a delightful meal full of fat and flavor, texture and taste: all the things that makes food something to dream about.

2 Comments

  1. Sabrina says:

    yes, I saw that episode too, so over the top food coma-ish, in the best way, and based on that would love to go there! interesting trip thank you

  2. Marie Lamensch says:

    I live in Montreal and have only been there once. It was memorable. I have eaten foie gras all my life because it’s a Christmas staple in Western Europe but the creativity of Martin Picard always amazes. He has a tv show here that shows how much respect he has for food, including for his pigs.

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