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SagamitÉ recipe

Sagamité was an important part of the diet of many Aboriginal nations in eastern Canada. Made from hulled corn, also called hominy, this dish is similar to "corn and grease", a staple of the mangeurs de lard. Once prepared in a large kettle they travelled with, corn and grease even provided onboard hunger relief without need of a stopover. Like sagamité, "Corn and grease" could contain extra ingredients that voyageurs gathered along the route.

Feel like honing your cooking skills? Try this recipe!

  1. Equipment required
  2. Ingredients
  3. Method

Equipment required

  • Large Dutch oven or other heavy kettle
  • Large wooden spoon

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  • 1 lb. (454g) dried whole hominy (hulled corn), yellow or white
  • 1 ounce (28g) salt pork. You can also use pork fat or beef tallow, or other rendered fat. Rinse meat to remove excess salt, if desired.
  • Water for boiling

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  1. Thoroughly wash and pick over the hominy. Place it in the Dutch oven or kettle and cover with water.
  2. Over medium-high to high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Let corn simmer about three hours, stirring occasionally. If the mixture begins to dry out, add a little more water. It should be plump and the kernels should have burst. It should not taste of raw starch.
  3. Add the salt pork or fat. Cook for at least another 45 minutes to let the flavours mix. At this point, stir frequently but gently. Taste. Add salt if desired. If you're using salt pork, you may find it salty enough already.

    Alternate method: Canned hominy may be easier to find than dry. The result will not be quite the same, but close in terms of texture. Rinse the hominy, cover it and let it simmer for a few minutes until hot. Add the fat or salt pork. You will likely not need any salt if you use canned hominy. You should also rinse the salt pork, if used.
  4. You can also add chopped meat or vegetables to this dish. As they went along, the voyageurs added whatever food they could get to their kettle. Vegetables such as turnip were commonly eaten in the day. Stew these extra ingredients with the corn until cooked through.

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