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Pork Rillettes Recipes


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Ever since I read & saw pictures of the recent NY Bread Event thread, I've been dreaming of Toby's Pork Belly Rillettes.

How does one make rillettes?

Toby and others, would you be willing to share your recipe and technique? I would love to try this.

Thanks.

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Rillettes

Definition

A basic recipe

Real rillettes have a tremendous amount of pork fat in them. The can be spread on bread as easily as soft butter.

Robert Buxbaum

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Anyone know the difference between rillettes and creton (sp?), a Quebec specialty?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Ever since I read & saw pictures of the recent NY Bread Event thread, I've been dreaming of Toby's Pork Belly Rillettes. 

How does one make rillettes? 

Toby and others, would you be willing to share your recipe and technique?  I would love to try this.

Thanks.

When I went to buy the pork belly, the Chinese butcher also had some nice looking duck legs, so I decided to make both pork rillettes and duck rillettes. I had a lot of leaf lard in the freezer and set to work mincing up the lard for the duck rillettes on the night before the bread event. Two pounds into the lard, I worked up a nasty blister on the base of the inside of my index finger. Since my pork rillettes recipe involves cutting up 3 or 4 lbs. of pork belly into matchstick-sized pieces, and it really hurt to use a knife, I decided to make rillauds (or rillots, rillons), cubes of pork belly cooked much the same as you cook rillettes. When they were done, they looked unattractive (and also would have needed to be heated up at the party, something I didn't want to have to do), so I decided to turn them into rillettes anyway. I pounded them up and then tore them apart with forks, just the way I would have done with the matchstick-sized pieces, and then mixed some of the fat they'd cooked in into them. Since we were eating them the next day, I didn't pack them into jars and pour a lot more of the lard they'd cooked in over them -- that was done originally to preserve them for lengthy periods of time. The consistency was a little too dry, but at that point I was so larded and buttered out -- pounds of lard and butter in the breads I baked, that I just couldn't look at any more lard again.

Here's the rillette recipe that I usually make, adapted from Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking:

3 lbs. pork belly, rind and bones removed -- rubbed all over with kosher or sea salt and left overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, rinse the pork, dry it and cut it into thick matchstick-sized pieces and put into an earthenware pot with 1-1/2 leaf lard, cut into small pieces, several cloves of peeled, crushed garlic, some thyme and parsley sprigs, black pepper and a big soup ladle of water. Cover the pot and cook in a 275 degree oven for 4 or 5 hours, until the meat is very soft and completely covered with its fat. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper -- David says rillettes are "insipid if not properly seasoned."

Pour the contents of the pan through a sieve into a big bowl, letting the fat drip through. Remove the garlic and herbs if you can. When well drained, first pound the meat and then with two forks pull the meat apart until it's in fine shreds -- you don't want a paste. Pour some of the fat back into the meat, taste again for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to your taste and pile into glazed earthenware jars. Pour more fat over the rillettes if you want to keep them for any length of time, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

--

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It's perfectly reasonable, indeed better, to cut the pork into 3cm cubes. It can then be hauled out of the fat and shredded with a fork before serving. Indeed, if you handle the cooked pork before covering them with fat it will drastically reduce the time that they will keep for. And, it is said that pork rillettes shouldn't be touched until a year after preparation.

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Toby, thank you so much for sharing your favorite recipe and technique, as well as Bux, for the link for Paul Bocuse's recipe (although for my subjective tastes, I would never add cinnamon or cloves as Bocuse does). I'm going to try Toby's method.

I also like the idea of making pork cubes, as Toby and Lord Michael suggested. Toby, I am sorry about your blister, ouch.

Michael, have you then also made pork rillettes? Anyone else? It seems tricky to do, plus a lot of work, so I can see how a lot of people may not have tried this before.

When one is separating the rind and bones from the pork belly, is this something one does themselves or does the butcher do it? When adding the fat back into the shredded meat, how do you know what is the right amount? Practice?

I am also intrigued by rillauds, or rillons. I had some tasty ones a year ago at Le Pichet in Seattle. Maybe that will be the next thing for me to try. But waiting a year to eat them seems too long. Why would this be necessary?

I am going to attempt to make rillettes within the next week. I will first need to find out where to find a pork belly. Yes, I am a beginner. :rolleyes:

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Michael, have you then also made pork rillettes? 

Basically the cooking process for pork Rillettes & Rillaud/Rillons/Rillots is the same, i.e 3cm Cubes of meat. However, when making Rillettes the meat is subsequently pounded in a mortar or chopped before covering with fat. Rillaud/Rillons/Rillots on the other hand, are covered with fat whilst still in their cubed state and consequently keep for longer.

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I got the pork belly in a Chinese butcher shop. It's pretty easy to cut out the few bones that might be on the bottom. Sometimes the butcher will remove the rind for you; otherwise, it's not that hard to do.

Leaving the pork belly in 2-inch pieces because of my blister and then pounding and shredding them when they were cooked worked pretty well. I think the rillettes are more delicate tasting when cut into smaller shreds before cooking, but it was really much easier just cutting into large cubes.

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Anyone know the difference between rillettes and creton (sp?), a Quebec specialty?

Anna, I've only seen creton as a loose pork pate without much spicing. Onion. Occasionally cloves and/or cinammon. Not a very good example of the genre.

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Anyone know the difference between rillettes and creton (sp?), a Quebec specialty?

Anna, I've only seen creton as a loose pork pate without much spicing. Onion. Occasionally cloves and/or cinammon. Not a very good example of the genre.

Thanks. I have had creton that was extremely tasty and VERY garlicky. It was, I think, made with ground pork cooked in milk. I think I'll do a bit of research for some recipes. But I don't want to get this thread off topic so I'll bow out.

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 4 years later...

I'm certain there is a lengthy topic discussion on this, unfortunately I find the search mechanism is not very useful or advanced (all one gets is pages upon pages of discussion boards; I guess one is expected to wade through them all?).

In any case, I've compiled a few recipes, I've got a few pounds of pork belly, what else??

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The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

Thought i'd cast this out to the great and good. I've been asked to prepare an after theatre supper for a group of people at the weekend and thought I'd make life easy for myself my serving pork rillettes with hot toast for the starter. Does anyone have a good recipe they'd like to share? Suggestions on a surprise twist to the original would also be welcome. I have been toying with the idea of adding juniper berries or horseradish to the mix but won't have time to trial run the ideas beforehand.

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I had a good recipe years ago, but inadvertently got rid of the cookbook. It had a spice I had never used, perhaps Spice Parisienne?

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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Paula Wolfert has a good recipe in her Cooking of SW France book.

Juniper berries are a good add, I think. Just make sure you don't use too many & that they are well crushed.

Horseradish sounds like a non-starter to me, but you could always make the rillettes then try eating them with horseradish to see how it tastes.

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The Wolfert recipe is great, and Anthony Bourdain has one in The Les Halles Cookbook, I believe.

ETA: Sift the juniper -- or anything else -- if you use it. Grainy is a real distraction from the porky wonderfulness.

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

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Dumb question: I have some pork confit aging in my refrigerator. I've never made rillettes before. Can I use some of my pork confit to make rillettes? Is there a basic recipe anyone recommends for this?

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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  • 9 months later...

i have a problem with rillettes.

in the les halles cookbook it says :

900g pork belly in cubes

450g pork shoulder in cubes

900ml water

bouquet garni

s&p

450 pork fat

it says to cook the meats, after 6 hours, shred it and put it in small containers, and top it with pork fat.

the fat goes in raw? does it melt from the heat of the meat and makes it like pate?

help!

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