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Spiced Pork Rillette


If you don’t have a stand mixer, shred the cooked meat with two forks and then mix it vigorously with a wooden spoon to combine with the other ingredients. This recipe is from Wildair, one of the Hot 10, America's Best New Restaurants 2016.

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds skinless, boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 quart rendered lard, melted
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cornichons and toasted slices of country-style bread (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Season pork all over with 5 tsp. salt. Place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 225°. Heat pork, lard, fresh ginger, thyme, bay leaf, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, and wine in a medium heavy pot over high until mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes; cover and transfer to oven. Braise pork until meat is very tender and shreds easily, 1½–2 hours.

  • Remove fresh ginger, thyme, and bay leaf from pot; discard thyme and bay. Grate ginger and set aside. Let pork cool in braising liquid 1 hour.

  • Using tongs, transfer pork to a stand mixer and beat on low speed with paddle attachment until shredded. With motor running, add grated ginger, then gradually pour in 1 cup rendered fat in pot. Beat until combined (don’t worry if mixture looks loose; it will set up as it cools). Taste rillette and season with more salt if needed.

  • Divide rillette among 3–4 airtight containers or jars (make sure to use a freezer-safe container if storing longer than a week) and spoon some rendered braising fat to cover. Cover and chill until cool, 30–45 minutes, depending on the size of your container.

  • Serve with cornichons and toast.

  • Do Ahead: Rillette can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled, or freeze up to 1 month.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 550 Fat (g) 57 Saturated Fat (g) 22 Cholesterol (mg) 80 Carbohydrates (g) 0 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 0 Protein (g) 8 Sodium (mg) 370Reviews Section

Easy Pork Rillettes (Slow-Cooked Pork Spread) Recipe

Rillettes are an entertainer's godsend. They're cheap, they're delicious, and they sound fancy. Most importantly, they seem like the kind of thing that takes a lot of skill and training to make, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. It's hard to think of an hors d'oeuvre that's easier to make in bulk. If you've ever wanted to dip your toes into the waters (or should I say warm rendered fats?) of French charcuterie, or if you're really in the mood to impress your friends and family with little to no effort, rillettes are the place to start.


Pork Rillettes

A pure expression of the pig: nothing extraneous, nothing wasted. Pork, salt, and a little bit of time: that's all you need to make rillettes. It was a beautiful idea which had led me to the kitchen, where I had 25 pounds of pork (a ball of lard, huge hunks of shoulder, and a bag of spare ribs larger than a medium-sized dog) and where I realized I was in over my head.

C onfiture de cochon --"pig jam"--is what the French affectionately call rillettes, and I was making it so I could serve it as one of the hors d'ouvres at my wedding. I wanted people to eat something personal, something I had been involved in, a way of sharing in the huge production of feeding all the friends and loved ones. I couldn't help but think of our wedding as the biggest dinner party we'd ever hosted, and though we happily hired an amazing caterer, this was a way I could extend my role as host a little further.

The "pig jam" would be on little toasts, topped with briney cornichon pickles to cut the richness. Other than that, it was just meat, fat, and a little salt to carry all the flavors to the tongue. Rillettes are simple, delicious, made from cheap cuts. They're pretty easy to make and hard to mess up, while also quite impressive.

When I began to search for recipes, I found lots of them. Awhile back I made duck rillettes and posted about it , and I absolutely adored the result. Duck rillettes were easy: just make duck confit and shred the meat with a little of the poaching duck fat. For that project I'd bought duck fat and duck legs separately, so it was little more than combining them along with spices to make it final.

This time my one rule was make the rillettes from absolute scratch: no buying pre-rendered lard. But I couldn't figure out which recipe to use that I knew I could trust. I was about to spend over a hundred dollars on ingredients and serve it to lots and lots of people who would proceed to think more or less of me, depending on how it turned out. So there was no way this could be messed up.

My favorite food magazine The Art of Eating piled up while I was living in Estonia, and a recent issue titled "American Charcuterie: The Cooked" came to the rescue. There was a recipe for "Rillettes de Tours," which I learned are made in a different style than the paler, finer texture one finds in recipes from Le Mans. These rillettes are coarser, more browned, and cooked more quickly. The Art of Eating pays such incredible attention to detail, and prizes authenticity so lovingly, that I knew the recipe could be trusted.

Of course, when my pork arrived from a local Indiana farmer, humanely raised heritage breed (considering that pork was the only ingredient with no spices to mask its flavor, I knew that it had to be of the highest quality), things changed quickly. Rather than receiving the precise amounts of pork fat, spareribs, and lean shoulder that I asked for, I had different quantities of everything--far more ribs that I'd ordered, and shoulder that wasn't lean but had loads of fat under the skin.

I started to freak out and wonder what would happen. My head was swimming with calculations as I tried to multiply the recipe by 6 times to feed so many people, and now I had to adjust again.

Yet as I was slicing the meat into chunks and preparing for cooking, I realized that this was precisely the way things should be. This is what was available when I ordered. On a French farm somewhere, this is probably just how it goes: you work with the meat that's available once the pig is slaughtered and the expensive bits are sold to the city folk. Rillettes are all about cheap cuts becoming something special, something to be stored for a long time, and the recipe responds to what's available. If the overall ratio is 2/3 lean to 1/3 fat, then the result will be just fine. And turns out this is just what happened.

Pork Rillettes de Tours

Adapted from The Art of Eating magazine, issue No. 80

  • 1 pound (500g) pork fat (not rendered lard: the actual fat. Fatback, leaf lard, and caul fat are the most common terms)
  • 3/4 pound (3-400 grams) pork spare ribs in 1 or 2 pieces
  • 2 pounds (1kg) lean pork shoulder with varied colors and textures of flesh
  • 1/4 cup (50ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon (22 grams) salt

The first step in making rillettes is the absolute hardest: lots and lots of dicing. A sharp knife is an absolute must, or your hands will hurt for days from gripping the knife. I began with a scale to keep a handle on the vast quantities I was making.

The lard I had was leaf lard or caul fat, I'm not certain. It came in a giant ball, which untangled easily. When working with lard, keep it as cold as possible. Not only will it be less slippery, it's easier to cut and work with. The warmer the lard got, the harder to cut it into small pieces.

Throughout my hunk of lard was a translucent membrane that I removed. It won't render with the rest of the lard.

My spare ribs, thankfully, didn't need any dicing. I rinsed them, cut them into a few large pieces small enough to fit in the pots, and set them aside.

Finally, there was the shoulder.

The shoulder was a nice mix of fat and lean.

The shoulder piece was also still attached to the skin, with a huge layer of fat in between.

I removed this layer of fat and set is aside to render it separately. This was useful later when I wanted to seal off the rillettes with fresh lard to ripen for a week.

The pork was an absolutely stunning red color. Try finding supermarket pork meat that rich and red: you won't find it.

Once the membrane is removed from the lard, I cut it into 1/2 inch dice and place in a large pot (in my case, 3 large pots) with the water.

On top of the fat went the pieces of spare rib, and finally the shoulder, which should be roughly cut into 2-3 inch squares.

Next, the pot is covered and the heat it turned to medium-high until the water comes to a boil. The idea here is to begin rendering all the fat at the bottom of the pot, which will become a base for the meat to poach in. Water assists the process of melting the lard. Keep an eye on the bottom to make sure nothing is sticking, adding a bit water as necessary. (Don't add too much water: later on, the idea will be to get rid of as much moisture as possible.) Just enough water to keep it from burning and the lard melting.

Eventually the fat will melt and the liquid level in the pot will increase. Once an inch or so of fat has collected in the bottom of the pot, it's safe to leave it simmering, stirring only occassionally. The pork should simmer for 2-3 hours as it fat-poaches and turns incredibly tender, and the pork bones release their stock-like goodness into the liquid.

After 2 or 3 hours, I started to check for doneness by removing a piece and crushing it on a cutting board to see if it broke apart. It took about 4 hours of cooking to get to the stage where the meat would shred quite easily.

Once it is sufficiently tender, the rib pieces should be removed and allowed to cool.

Once I could handle them, I removed the bones and any unsavory-looking gristly bits, then returned the good meat to the pot.

Now the rillettes are very close, but not done yet: the last stage is where a lot of the flavor is concentrated and deepened. With the lid off, I turned the heat to medium and began to evaporate all the moisture in the pots. The idea is to remove as much as possible, at which point the juices and the meat begin to brown, forming a glaze on the bottom of the pot. This is regularly mixed back into the meat as the moisture continues to leave the rillettes and the meat shreds into small pieces.

If the lard is still cloudy, moisture remains, so the process is not complete.

Throughout the process, I was stirring constantly to prevent burning. It took close to an hour to fully remove all the moisture, as the rilettes deepened in color. This might be quicker with higher heat, but I didn't want to burn anything. Eventually, the rillettes should come together in a mass with just a little fat on the bottom of the pot.

I realize at this point that there was far more lard than necessary in my batch, a result of the different cuts of meat I'd worked with. So I was careful when transfering the rillettes to jards to leave as much lard behind as possible.

First, run the jars through a dishwasher to sterilize them, or wash with very hot soapy water and rinse with boiling water.

Make sure the jars are very hot before spooning the rillettes in to prevent the glass from cracking due to high temperature change. Ramekins are also suitable containers, or a glass dish. Anything that can be sterilized beforehand (avoid plastic), ceramic or glass.

Press the rillettes into the container and press down with the back of a spoon to remove any air pockets. Place sheets of plastic wrap against the surface of the meat to remove any air.

Next, the rillettes should cool and chill overnight. Kept this way, they can be served within 5 days. If you'd like to keep them longer, render fresh lard the following day and paint the chilled surface with burning hot fat to sterilize and seal it. If you're certain they are completelely sealed with no air pockets, the rillettes can be kept for months refrigerated.

The rillettes should be eaten cool or just below room temperature. The fat should just be beginning to run.


Pork Rillettes

I tend not to buy meat from supermarkets very often but when you see boned pork shoulder at £2 per Kg it is difficult to walk past without dropping 5Kg or so into the basket. I have to say it wasn’t the most beautifully butchered piece of pork I have ever seen. Nevertheless, we were going to make some rillettes and use the rest for a slow cooked Pulled Pork (see here) so it was worth a shot! The added bonus was that I wanted to try and render my own pork fat to top the rilletes. There was a lot of skin on this piece which would be great to render and would certainly not go to waste.

A classic pork rillettes is not a pâté, rather it is a long, slow-cooked pork dish. It is cooked in its own fat with a little stock, few herbs, garlic and seasoning. In a way it has more in common with pulled pork, but a pulled pork set in its own stock and fat. It is quite simply delicious to the point that I need to ration it – once started it is difficult to stop. Be warned! Spread rillettes on toasted baguette or sourdough bread, sprinkle lightly with freshly cracked black pepper and salt for a light lunch or a quick starter. Try it too with a little sweet chutney – not authentically French but a delicious combination nontheless.

The recipe is quite straightforward. Cut the pork into pieces about the size of a walnut. Then add the finely chopped garlic, bay leaves, thyme, crushed juniper berries, cloves and the coriander as well as the Chinese 5 spice and Allspice together with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. To this was added a couple of splashes of calvados and around 200ml of chicken stock to nearly cover the pork. The pan was brought up to a very gentle boil and then transferred to an oven. This can be done on the BGE where I would set the temperature to around 120C cooking indirectly, or just as readily at 120C (Fan) in a conventional oven. I would do this in the BGE if I was cooking something else or if I wanted to add a little smoke to the spice mix. In all honesty though it is perhaps a little easier in a conventional oven. If doing on the BGE I would do this without the lid, but in a conventional oven with the lid in place.

After about 3 hours the meat should be sitting in a lovely liquid stock and have softened considerably. At this stage it will easily breakup with the pressure of a fork. To separate the liquid from the solids I would suggest putting the whole content of the pan into a sieve and gently squeeze the excess fluid from the meat and garlic residue. Pop the liquid into the fridge to chill.

Put the meat and garlic back in the cooking pan and begin to shred the meat to the consistency you want. I like it quite coarse with some body in the shredded meat. Some recipes suggest doing this in a food processor – personally I think this is a terrible idea and leaves you with a mousse not a rillette! Assuming the meat has been cooked for long enough it will break up with a fork very easily. Once you have the meat broken down to the size you want, pack it loosely into ramekins. It is packed loosely so that the reserved meat juices can be poured back into the meat. It can then find a way of flowing round all the meat fibres. When you take the reserved juices from the fridge a pure fat layer should have appeared on the top if you have left it for long enough. Remove and reserve this fat layer. Pour the meat juices into the ramekin stopping when the liquid just comes to the surface of the meat. The ramekins were then allowed to chill further which allows some absorption of the meat juices. The reserved fat can then be heated and gently poured over the rillette to seal it. The dishes are then left for at least 2hrs in the fridge to harden. Left like this with the fat on the surface the rillette will keep happily in the fridge for around 10 days and the fat can be scraped to one side when serving. If you are intending to use in the next day or so a simple cling film lid will do a similar job. If you don’t like the idea of using pork fat to seal then an equally adequate seal can be made with melted butter.


Pork rillettes

Served in pretty, hinged Mason jars, squat glass pots or ceramic ramekins, rillettes -- savory, toothsome meats or fish that have been braised or prepared as confit-- are multiplying on restaurant menus, a second wave in L.A.'s charcuterie renaissance.

“I love the shredded texture and the rich, creamy quality,” says Suzanne Goin, chef-owner of the Los Angeles wine bar A.O.C., who presents her luscious pork rillettes on a rustic wooden board. Sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper, served with a stack of warm, grilled bread, pickled red onions, cornichons and a bit of frisee, the popular dish is at once a soul-satisfying appetizer and a painterly still life.

The dish that 19th century French novelist Honore de Balzac lovingly called “brown jam” is rustic fare, casually spread onto bread, spooned from small pots and shared with friends. Born of traditional peasant techniques, rillettes can be made of pork, game, poultry, fish or even vegetables that are braised with fat until tender and deeply flavored -- even caramelized -- then seasoned or spiced and packed into jars.

Don’t look for a genteel layer of aspic or the beautiful mosaic of many terrines -- rillettes is simply a pot filled with flavor, meat condensed to its essence.

“There’s been a change in the last 10 years,” says David Myers, chef-owner of the West Hollywood brasserie Comme Ca. “Young people have traveled, they’ve been to small, nameless bistros somewhere in France.” After they come home, “they want those experiences.”

Myers serves smooth-as-butter pork rillettes pressed into a little ceramic bowl as part of his charcuterie plate, served on black slate with pickles, whole grain mustard, toasted baguette and a slice of house-made pork and duck terrine.

There are always three rillettes on the menu at Palate Food + Wine in Glendale, and even chefs who don’t make their own are offering rillettes made by local specialty chefs including Bruno Herve-Commereuc, former chef at Angelique Cafe in downtown L.A. Rillettes are best in small quantities, great nosh food when matched with contrasting bites of warm bread (“I love how when you spread the rillettes on the warm, grilled toast it half melts into the bread,” Goin says), a tart bite of pickle, the acidic punch of mustard. Spread some on toasted bread, pair it with a glass of wine, maybe a handful of cornichons and a bit of salad, and you have a perfect appetizer -- or a light, casual supper.

To make rillettes, meats are first marinated or given a brief salt cure, then braised or confited (poached in their own fat) until very tender. The tender meat is then mixed with a bit of the reserved poaching liquid and fat, maybe a few herbs. That’s it.

Packed into jars or terrines, loaf pans or ramekins, sometimes sealed with a layer of fat, they’re stored in the fridge, where they can last for up to a week -- longer if sealed with a layer of duck fat or butter.

“It’s becoming trendy here [in the U.S.] in France, it’s a part of everyday life,” says chef Florent Marneau of Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa. Marneau often includes duck rillettes on the charcuterie plate, with pickled cauliflower and cornichons, slices of bread and pots of mustard.

Marneau, whose duck rillettes are made with duck confit shot with notes of cardamom and star anise and mixed with a bit of pork confit, also makes pork, rabbit, even quail and wild boar rillettes.

At FRAICHE in Culver City, chef-owner Jason Travi serves a selection of charcuterie and salumi, including luscious duck rillettes made by Herve-Commereuc. (Travi says he gets all his charcuterie from Herve-Commereuc, who plans to open a restaurant and retail shop in Culver City.)

At the Sunset Junction bistro Cafe Stella, there were two rillettes among the appetizers on a recent menu. Chef Missy Kim makes house-made salmon rillettes studded with capers and fresh dill savory pork rillettes, which Kim gets from Herve-Commereuc, are part of the charcuterie plate.

In West Hollywood, chef T. Nicolas Peter lines the walls of the Little Next Door with Mason jars of pickles and jams and fills refrigerated cases with jars of pates and preserves -- and rillettes. Recently, Peter’s rabbit and pork rillettes were on offer. The Belgian-born chef says that though Americans have traditionally viewed pates and rillettes as “luxe, white-tablecloth,” in France, “this is peasant food.”

Ben Ford, chef-owner of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, says rillettes are showing up on menus because “chefs are cooking what they like to eat more.” He often makes rillettes and terrines with rabbit, but his rotating menu might also include rillettes made with smoked trout and bound with creme fraiche, or made with a confit of goose or duck.

Palate chef-owner Octavio Becerra likes how rillettes work with his menu so much that he’s given them their own section, called “Mason jars.” The rillettes, served in little glass pots with thin, crisp slices of baguette, are meant to be shared as an appetizer

On a recent night there were the three on the menu: salmon rillettes potted poulet (chicken rillettes) and potted Berkshire pork. Becerra also makes rabbit rillette, and sometimes luscious lamb rillettes spiced with thyme and tarragon, parsley and shallots.

To make Becerra’s meltingly tender lamb rillettes, start by marinating lamb from a combination of cuts (shank, shoulder and neck), then sear the meat and braise it in wine, chicken stock, duck fat and aromatics until it’s fall-apart tender. After the braised meat cools, it’s shredded and combined with herbs, some of the braising broth, a bit of fat and butter (Becerra uses his own house-churned butter) and packed into jars.

Chef Josef Centeno, recently of Lot 1 in Echo Park, makes ocean trout rillettes that are another good choice for the home cook. Ocean trout and smoked salmon are combined, smoothed out with lebni (kefir cheese) and seasoned with yuzu (Japanese citrus). Buttery smooth, with a lovely depth of flavor from fresh dill, black pepper and the yuzu, it’s a lighter, faster take on rillettes.

For classic rillettes, make Suzanne Goin’s pork version -- and for best results, start about six days before the meal. Goin cures cubes of pork shoulder, fat back and belly in a mixture of salt, black pepper, fresh thyme and bay leaves for three days, then braises the meat with onions and shallots, wine and herbs. After cooling, the pork is shredded, mixed with the cooking liquid and packed into a terrine -- or loaf pan, which is a nice alternative if you don’t have jars or ramekins.

Weighted down (to compact it) and chilled (“They’re best made at least three days ahead,” Goin says), the rillettes are then sliced and served at room temperature. Ahead of the trend, Goin had pork rillettes on the menu at A.O.C. when the restaurant opened in 2002 she’s since added rabbit and duck rillettes to the menu as specials.

“It’s a dish that’s all about sharing and hanging out for me,” Goin says.

An earthenware pot, a crusty baguette, and thou beside me, singing in the wilderness.


Pork Rillettes & Spiced Apple Jam, get ready for entertaining…

Pork Rillettes & Spiced Apple Jam, get ready for entertaining…

Pork Rillettes are so easy to make & Spiced Apple Jam makes the perfect accompaniment.

This week I’ve had my first real go at producing French charcuterie, which is currently trending on shared tables everywhere.

An entertainers delight, with a couple of these containers in the freezer you are good to go for any function, any excuse…a few drinks when friends drop in, a dinner party, a gala affair & anything in between.

Or in my case, tapas plates for a local live music Sunday session venue.

It sounds fancy, & like you need amazing kitchen skills, but I can’t think of anything easier to make. So if you want to make a great impression this is a delicious place to start.

Traditionally served on crusty crostini with cornichons & seeded mustard, we decided to mix it up & serve it with this glossy Spiced Apple Jam.

Give them both a go…you will impress yourself (& that’s always the best thing :))

Spiced Apple Jam:

  • 1.5kg green apples (I used Pink Lady’s because our local fruit shop had a great special on)
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 3 lemons, zest & juice (I used limes because our tree produces prolifically)
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/4 tspn cloves
  • 1/2 tspn each nutmeg & allspice

Peel, core & slice apples (I didn’t peel them, thinking the pectin content would be greater. I also put the cores in a muslin cloth (brand new Chux works just as well) tied it loosely & popped it on top of apples while they cooked, more pectin.)

Place in heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add zest, lemon & apple juice. Cook until apples are soft, about 30 mins.

Add sugar & stir until dissolved. Add spices. Increase temperature to high & bring to the boil. Cook rapidly for 20 mins, or until setting point is reached.

Remove from heat & let cool a little. Remove cloth of cores & discard. Ladle into warm sterilised jars, filling to the very top. Seal and label. (I put mine in t/a containers to stack & freeze.)

Pork Rillettes:

I slow-cooked mine, using the confit method, which prevents diluting the flavour. It was so easy, put it all in, close it up & walk away. The smells wafting though all day were tantalizing…..

  • 2 kg pork shoulder, skinned & boned & cut into chunks (ask your butcher)
  • salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (or duck fat)
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 12 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 large shallots, roughly chopped
  • 8 medium cloves garlic, split in half
  • 1 tspn ground nutmeg

Season pork with salt & pack into roasting pan (or slow cooker) in a layer about 2 inches deep. Pour oil over the pork. Nestle bay leaves, thyme sprigs, shallots & garlic into the pork.

Cover pan tightly with foil & cook until pork is completely tender, about 3 hours (in slow cooker, overnight or all day).

Remove from oven, discard bay leaves & thyme. Carefully pour pork mixture into large strainer, reserving drained fat & juices.

Transfer pork to mixer fitted with paddle attachment (I used a hand held beater, worked perfectly). Use mixer on low speed, allowing pork to break down & shred. Slowly drizzle in fat & juices a little at a time, until mixture is loose.

Season aggressively with salt (mixture will get more bland as it chills, so add salt until it tastes almost too salty).

Pack mixture into jars, making sure to remove all air bubbles. Smooth tops of mixture with back of spoon, wipe rims of jars with clean cloth, cover with fat on top of each one. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (If freezing, defrost in the fridge overnight before serving).

All in a days work! Happy little worker ants…..

Bring on that crusty bread!! Happy, hearty days of old!!


What you’ll need…

  • 750 gm piece boneless pork belly
  • 1/2 cup sea salt – you may not need all of it
  • 3-4 fresh bay leaves – dry is ok too if you can’t get fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 3 or so thyme sprigs
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic – bruised
  • 500 gm pork lard
  • Baguette – fresh or toasted
  • Mulled Wine Flavour Pearls
  • or if you’ve missed our limited edition try Pepperberry & Cherry Flavour Pearls
  • Jars or dish for serving and storage

To do…

Cut the pork belly into large cubes. Salt the pork very generously all over with the salt and add the herbs and spices. Refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight.

Wash the salt off the pork and pat dry with some paper towel, reserving the herbs and spices. Place the pork in a smallish dish (oven proof) with the herbs and spices. Add the blocks of pork lard and pop into the oven at 130 – 140C for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs or until tender and falling apart. Give it a little mix about every now and then to ensure even cooking..

Remove the pork from the fat and cool a little. Strain the fat through a fine sieve and set aside. When the pork has cooled a little you need to shred the meat. I find it easiest to put on a pair of plastic food gloves and just squish it. You may need to finely slice the skin from the pork if it doesn’t want to squish. The only things that will go in the bin are the hard herb sticks and bay leaves. I quite like to leave the pepper corns and other bits in it.

Next take the shredded pork and put into your jars or dish, pressing on the pork to pack lightly. Reheat the strained pork fat and pour a layer over the top of the pork to seal. Refrigerate. You may need to add a little more fat after it’s sat for a bit, I find that it seems to settle a little.

Store until you are ready to eat. This will keep refrigerated for a couple of months.

Ready to serve

Take your rillettes from the fridge around half an hour before you want to serve them. Room temperature is best for full flavour and so they spread well. Serve with fresh or toasted baguette slices and to complement the salty richness some Mulled Wine Flavour Pearls or Pepperberry & Cherry Flavour Pearls.

**If you’ve just come across this recipe and the Limited edition is no longer available take a peek at our other flavours HERE There are plenty of others to choose from.

Ohhh and a large glass of wine…cheers!

from the Peninsula Larder Team

“Age and glasses of wine should never be counted.” -Unknown


Spiced Pork Rillette - Recipes

To clarify ‘pork rillettes’ is traditionally French and resembles a coarse pâté and should be eaten as such. In the US it would probably be referred to as ‘pulled pork’ but the difference is that rillettes is served at room temp and the cooking liquid is used to bind it together, hence the resemblance to pâté.

The most difficult part of making this dish (in my case), was finding the pork belly – If you live in a more populated area than I do, you probably won’t have the same challenge. Neither the local supermarkets nor Whole Foods could oblige, which was a bit irritating as they all sell every type of bacon known to man.

Then a good friend pointed me in the direction of a Mexican butcher in Carbondale (Valley Meats on Hwy 133) they not only had plenty of pork belly but were still open at 9.30PM and were happy to cut to order. Gracias!

Either way, it’s best served with some warm crusty baguette or similar – perhaps with some gherkins/baby dill pickles on the side…or you could even stuff a baked potato with it and top it with some grated Gruyere.

Following my general rule of food prep, this is incredibly easy to make. You’ll need to pull the meat apart with two forks once it’s cool enough to handle but that’s the fun bit.

If you can’t find juniper berries, just increase the number of bay leaves to three. It freezes well.

RILLETTES of PORK with GARLIC, JUNIPER, BAY & THYME

2lbs (1kilo) of boned, skinned fresh pork belly

4 juniper berries, slightly crushed

3 large sprigs of fresh thyme

3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole

Preheat the oven to 320F (160C). Place the pork in a fairly deep roasting pan and rub it all over with the sea salt.

Add the bay leaves, juniper berries, thyme and garlic, then pour in the water.

Cover tightly with foil and cook for 3 hours or until the pork is tender.

Remove from the oven and once it’s cool enough to handle, lift the meat out of the pan, retaining the juices. Using two forks pull/shred the pork apart. Pack the shredded meat into a pâté dish or terrine. Strain all the juices over the shredded meat, mix well then press it down firmly and refrigerate until it becomes firm.

And to those of you who cringe at the idea of eating pork fat – you eat bacon don’t you?


Pork Rillettes

As we enter into November, I&rsquom starting to think about entertaining. Not the way I entertained this summer &mdash poolside with the barbecue smoking, cold libations, peak-of the season salads and fresh fruit desserts. No, now our get-togethers, while still informal, take on a more sophisticated tone. We&rsquore wearing clothes after all &ndash instead of bathing suits!

When my guests arrive, I like to welcome them with a cocktail and some nibbles. Sometimes I&rsquoll have spiced nuts or warmed olives with zest. Always good &mdash but sometimes I do just a little bit more. Pork rillettes with crostini, crunchy radishes and cornichons are a delicious and unexpected way to ease into the evening.

This is like making an antipasto platter, but instead of cured meats from the deli counter, I serve my own savory pat? &mdash in a jar! Since this is a &ldquodo-in-advance&rdquo recipe, I don&rsquot have to worry about assembling bite size canapes at the last minute. More time with my friends &ndash less time prepping!

While this does take some time, it&rsquos really easy to make and the oven does most of the work. After braising the pork with vegetables and the spice pouch, it goes into the bowl of a stand mixer and seconds later you&rsquove got the rillettes. Fill ramekins or those cute little mini-canning jars with the pork mixture and spoon a tablespoon of melted butter over the top to seal the potted meat from the air. Done. It&rsquos so easy and so freakin&rsquo good!

This rich, unctuous blend is irresistible and can I tell you how good it is with a good glass of wine or spirits? Yes, that good!

The nice thing about this is that it makes quite a bit, so you can have a few on hand when company stops by, or give some as gifts along with a sleeve of your favorite crackers or a demi-baguette. Your friends will love you for it!


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Too bland! I had to perform an emergency seasoning infusion after the duck was cooked. Next time Iɽ add onions, a bit more wine and a little broth (chicken or vegetable) to braise the duck in. I ran the meat through the coarse die of my meat grinder (instead of hand-shredding), added some of the reserved liquid to make it moister, seasoned with allspice and fine herbs to taste. Iɽ leave out the fatback altogether, pork ruins the health benefits of duck fat and is unnecessary.

I'm assuming my big mistake was thinking that duck was so fatty that I didn't need the fatback. I cooked the duck without it, and found the preliminary tasting so bland that I panicked. The fatback must add the flavor. Managed to save the dish by making a reduction of the liquid/fat with additional garlic, adding cognac, and seasoning the duck very well with additional s&p. Point is: don't skip the fatback and expect something tasty!

Time consuming but not difficult. The taste is well worth the effort. A great dish for an informal wine party.

I made this with a pair of wild frozen ducks that had been stored for a year and mistakenly used salt pork instead of fresh fatback. I also used a pressurer cooker instead of the oven. The birds shredded beautifully and the flavor is intense, sophisticated and yet rustically appealing. Since there are 4 more of last year's ducks still in the freezer, I'll make this again.