Pork rillettes are an absolute delight to eat. Salty, fatty, porky deliciousness that just calls for a glass of wine and some great conversation.
It’s a simple recipe to prepare, you just need to get it started a couple of days before your event. Another wonderful thing about rillettes is that they keep really well so make a larger batch and you can have your fridge stocked with a stash for whenever wine-o-clock strikes.
A little history...Rillettes are a classic French method of preserving meat, designed to keep meat fresh and edible before the invention of modern refrigeration. Meat is salted and slow-cooked in its own fat and then sealed under a layer of fat to prevent spoilage.
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
- Jars or dish for serving and storage
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
Ohhh and a large glass of wine…cheers!
Until next time
from the Peninsula Larder Team
“Age and glasses of wine should never be counted.” -Unknown