Rillettes

Rillettes

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
4-6

Better known in English as potted pork, this French dish is basically a pork spread flavoured with herbs, spices, pepper and garlic. Rillettes are most commonly made with pork, but may also be made with goose, rabbit, turkey or duck, although each of these will include some pork.

Pork rillettes are made from belly pork, one of the most economical of pork cuts, but also one of the most fatty. The fat is essential to the rillettes, so don’t be dismayed by the quantity.

Rillettes are eaten with plain (unbuttered) bread or toast, often accompanied by pickled gherkins. They may be served as a first course, or simply as something to nibble on with drinks.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg boneless belly pork, rind removed, cut into small cubes
1 large garlic clove, bruised
1 sprig fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper
60ml water
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt

Method

  1. Place pork cubes in large, heavy saucepan with garlic, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Add water to prevent mixture sticking. Cook over very gentle heat for about 2 hours or until pork is extremely tender. Drain in a sieve.
  2. Discard garlic and thyme, and set fat aside. Using 2 forks, tear pork into shreds. Taste and season as desired with salt, pepper and spices; rillettes should be well seasoned.
  3. Return pork mixture to saucepan with a little of the reserved fat and heat, stirring well to mix seasonings through meat.
  4. Pack into small pots. Cover surface of each with layer of pork fat then cover with foil. Store in refrigerator. Remove 1–2 hours before serving. Covered with fat, rillettes will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.
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