Rillettes

Rillettes (ree-yett) form part of the tradi-tional charcuterie of France and are usually made and stored in small stoneware pots. Rillettes make excellent hors d’oeuvre or picnic snacks, served with lots of toast or French bread.

Stoneware pots are best for storing rillettes, although small terrifies or ramekins may be used instead.

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1 ½ lb. pork fat, cut INTO 1-inch pieces

2 lb. lean pork shoulder, cut INTO 2-inch pieces

2 fl. oz. water

1½ teaspoons black pepper

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried sage large bouquet garni, consisting of

8 parsley sprigs,

2 thyme sprays and

2 bay leaves tied together

2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 garlic clove, crushed

Place the pork fat, pork shoulder and water in a large, flameproof casserole. Set the casserole over high heat and bring the water to the boil. Add

1 teaspoon of pepper,

1 teaspoon of salt, the sage and bouquet garni and cover the casserole. Reduce the heat to very low, but keep the liquid simmering, and cook for 5 hours, checking occasionally to make sure that the mixture does not become too dry. Add a little more boiling water if necessary.

Remove the casserole from the heat. With a slotted spoon, lift out and discard the bouquet garni.

Pour the pork mixture into a fine wire strainer placed over a large mixing bowl.

Using the back of a wooden spoon, rub the mixture through the strainer. Discard any pulp left in the strainer.

Alternatively, blend the mixture, a little at a time, in a blender at high speed for about 10 seconds or until the pork mixture is shredded but not a puree. Place the pork mixture in a large mixing bowl.

Stir the mixture with a kitchen fork and add the remaining salt and pepper, the marjoram and garlic. Taste the mixture and add more seasoning if necessary. Transfer the pork mixture to a medium-sized saucepan and set the pan over low heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove the pan from the heat and turn the pork mixture into small stoneware pots.

Set the pots aside to cool completely. Cover the pots with lids or aluminium foil. Place the pots in the refrigerator until they are required, but use within 1 week.

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