Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pork Rillettes

PORK RILLETTES

pork belly, pork shoulder, rosemary and duck fat.

finally i think i have conquered the Rillette. for a long time i was fascinated by them , but a little intimidated. meat swimming in it's own FAT and topped with more FAT...how can this be a good thing?... i also thought they might be too involved and too much to take on. not so. when you break it down in layman's terms they are just fancy flavored potted meats topped with duck fat, pork belly fat, clarified butter or a tasty combo of fats.

my first attempt was the pork rillette, for a couple of reasons...I LOVE PORK and the mention of pork belly sold me...also pork is usually inexpensive. i think i spent less than $10.00 for the whole thing. for a first try with a Charcuterie recipe i think i did pretty good. now i'm hooked. the best part is that they keep in the fridge for weeks if sealed properly and make a great impression on drop-by guests, a tasty late night snack or a great addition to any party.
as i mentioned i was fascinated by the "Rillette" for quite a while so i googled around a lot of blogs, websites and thumbed through most of the books i had. came across loads of different techniques and all sorts of flavors. i settled on the something basic and a recipe that wouldn't require a lot of ingredients. pork is cheap, i had duck fat in the fridge and rosemary in the garden...done....i did, however, have to go out and buy the cute little French jars. they cost more than the whole recipe.

PORK RILLETTES

adapted from many recipes, but one in particular had good easy instructions found at a great blog called Eat me Drink Me. i have copied his instructions, but added my recipe ingredients below.

Ingredients i used

1.5 lbs pork shoulder

1.75 lbs pork belly

7 smashed cloves garlic

3 large sprigs fresh rosemary

2 sprigs thyme

2 tsp oregano

2 bay leaves

1 oz veal demi glace (optional)

2-3 cups water

2/3 cup duck fat (not necessary, but good)

Instructions
Cut the rind off the belly. In a Dutch oven, or oven proof pot, combine the pork with rosemary (I used 3 large sprigs), crushed cloves of garlic, and bay leaves and season generously with salt, black pepper and nutmeg - most recipes call for a bouquet garni, not just rosemary, or thyme and parsley instead. But hell. Here's to living dangerously, eh?

Cover with a cup full of water, and bring to a low simmer on the stove. Not quite bubbling. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to gas mark 2. Cover, and place in the heated oven. Read a book. Watch TV. Call you friends. Cooking times vary from 2 to 6 hours. Bake bread to go with your rillette. I cooked by eye, as it were, taking the pot out of the oven every 40 minutes or so, stirring to make sure it didn't stick, and eventually, forking the thicker parts of meat apart to allow it to cook a little more quickly.

The fat should largely melt to a clear liquid, and the pork cook until meltingly soft - it should fall apart in the pot when gently forked. When that happens, drain and reserve the liquid. Discard the herbs, and allow the pork to cool enough to handle. Best to keep it a little warm though. With your hands, or two forks, shred the meat into, depending on your taste, pistachio sized piece, or small threads of pork. Or less even. Taste the pork, and add herbs, salt, pepper - whatever you used originally - to taste. Place in a terrine dish (no grease or bacon required. Any more pork might actually kill you) or a regular bowl, or container, and compress. For ten minutes, or two hours. Again, your preference is, I think, prime, though I only loosely compressed it, and the dish soaked up huge amounts of fat.

Finally, pour over some of the reserved fat to form a thin layer of fat on top of the crock, terrine dish, bowl.....and leave covered, in the fridge, for three days. It can keep for ten days without the fat covering, and longer with.

Eat, with pickled cornichons, or black olives, on bread. To serve, take what you want from the terrine. Allow to come to room temperature, and serve.


5 comments:

shannon said...

Thank you for sharing some of your delicious Rillette with me...I especially enjoyed it with the pickled ginger!

Catty said...

I was sceptical about food blogs for a very long time (all those look at me, look at me bloggers). Now with your crispy skin pork belly in the oven and next weekend devoted to rillettes, you've convinced me. Thanks...

Jules and Ruby said...

Catty...i'm so excited...you have a pork belly in the oven!!!...i think i'll go buy another tomorrow. let me know how it comes out AND the rillettes next weekend...thanks loads...hope to here from you soon

Emma said...

Gotta say, loving your blog. You and I have similar tastes in food and seem to be getting excited over the same things!

Jules and Ruby said...

thanks Emma...nice to know another kooky foodie. i love that you love out of the ordinary

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