A rillette is like a rustic pâté, made from cooking meat slowly in its fat, then shredding it and mixing it with some of the fat to turn it into an irresistible spreadable fatty meat paste.
Said to hail from the Loire region of France, you can also make rillettes of rabbit, salmon, duck, and other fish and game birds. Perfect for a platter, or some sandwich decadence.
Serve rillettes with toasts, cornichons, pickles, some prunes or other dried fruit (these Earl Grey & Whiskey Stewed Prunes would be a real treat) and plenty of cloudy apple cider or a reisling.
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 teaspoon allspice or juniper berries
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1kg pork belly, cut into 3cm pieces (about 1/2 meat and 1/2 fat works well)
- 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 sprigs marjoram or thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup water
In a large bowl, toss the pork with the spice blend until well coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 160•C.
Remove pork from fridge and toss through the garlic and thyme. Transfer pork to a casserole dish, and pack in tightly. Pour over 1 cup of water, cover with a well-fitting lid and roast for 3-4 hours, until pork is very tender and pulls apart easily with a fork.
Pour pork mixture through a sieve, reserving all juices.
Shred pork finely, removing and discarding any gristle and bones. Mix through 1/3 of the reserved liquid fat.
Pulse all the shredded meat in a processor, then remove and set aside half. Pulse the remainder a few more times for a finer consistency.
Mix together the pork batches, press into small ramekins and pour over remaining fat, spreading the top layer flat.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set. The rillettes will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.