Tuesday 11 April 2006

pork rillettes

Rillettes are something I can only sometimes resist ordering when I find them on a menu. I love pâté and I love the meatier coarser rillettes. Yet, until now I had not made them myself - I don't know why ; they are straight forward, much easier than pâté, however they seem to be much more impressive on a "you made this!" level.

I decided to make a foray into the world of rillette making because I had some pork belly that was intended for sausages, but I didn't feel like making sausages. I wanted to make something that we could have during the week for lunch or an easy dinner - rillettes it was. Several of my cook books had a recipes for rillettes, but I ended up making a blended version of them all. I didn't have any pork fat, but I thought that the belly seemed fatty enough, and I wanted to cook the rillettes in the oven to make it easier on me!

This is how I ended up making them :

Pork Rillettes

500g piece of skinless and boneless fatty pork belly, cut into one inch chunks
100 mL of dry white wine
8 peppercorns, lightly crushed
8 juniper berries, lightly crushed
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and bruised
a generous grating of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Mix all the ingredients except the wine and put in a terrine or covered ovenproof pot, then pour over the wine. Bake covered in the oven at 140°c for 4 hours stirring once or twice, until the pork is very tender and cooked to perfection.
Strain the liquid from the pork pressing on the pork gently to help this along, keeping the liquid. Put the pork on a plate and shred with two forks . Remove the bay leaves, but the peppercorns, juniper berries and garlic will have been magically assimilated into the pork, or near enough so just pick out any bits you think you should. Taste the pork and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Pack tightly into small pots (or indeed one large one) pour over the reserved juices - the fat will form a layer on the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a day.
Serve with baguette, gerkins, radishes, lettuce and some red wine for a delicious, satisfying and easy week day meal.

This amount will make two ramekins full with a bit left over to eat on the day you make them, and allowing for the mouthfuls that you will have to try while you are shredding!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love pork rillettes and yours look ever so delicious!!!

Sam said...

your recipe looks so much easier than the one I used. I suffered for 2 days making it and then ended up with about a dozen ramekins of the stuff. I still have some in my freezer. It was quite an undertaking, so I am not sure there will be a next time for me since we have a great artisinal charcuterie maker from whom I can buy just one pot whenever i like.

Emma said...

It must be one of those things where simple is best (at least for the home cook). You are lucky to have a local charcuterie. It is nice to try to make these things but the effort has to pay off!