Rillettes of Pork. The name sound like something you would like to take on a picnic? You know – one of those picnics where you spread heavy blankets and soft cushions over fragrant grass. Throw a checked tablecloth down. Unload crystal wine glasses, linen napkins and heavy silver from an ancient picnic basket. You open a terrine of rillettes of pork. Smear it generously on crusty bread. Add some sharp, sweet gherkins. Open a bottle of good red wine. Utter Bliss.
Rillettes of pork is a type of French pate famous around the Loire. It’s sold everywhere in charcuteries and I even spotted it in supermarket. The ingredients are very basic – Boston butt and pork fat. These are the two main ingredients of divine pate the English call “potted meat”. If you can find a good butcher shop selling organic pork and organic pork fat that is the best way to go. If that is not possible buy a very fatty Boston butt and use fat cut from the meat. You also can use fresh pork belly. Since we raise our own pork I used the”fat back” in this recipe.
Chunks of pork and fat are braised slowly until the moisture evaporates the meat is fork tender. The meat and fat is mashed and packed into a terrine or small ramekins. The fat that tops this decadent bit of delight has simmered with the meat and for me it is the best part of pork rillettes. There is a little back and forth into the refrigerator but the recipe is easy. Most of the time spent is the slow simmering of the meat so do plan to make this when you can pop back into the kitchen and keep an eye on things. The rillettes will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. You can also freeze pork rillettes.
RILLETTES OF PORK – a delicious appetizer and part of your menu for a perfect picnic.