I’ve decided that Mum was right. Christmas IS about food as much as it is about the Nativity . The baking of it, sharing of it and eating it. I know she is smiling wherever she is in spirit. That was her mission in life, especially at Christmas. Make sure everyone has food and never goes hungry. I’ve been baking up a storm over the last couple of days. Today, for instance, I’ve put 2 smaller Christmas cakes in the oven for my daughters and realised I have to make another one for my brother. Joy! That means I get to bake more cake and we will also have a spare cake for us! 😀 Yesterday, I made something I’ve never made before but must order whenever I go out and see it on the menu. Often seen as part of a Charcuterie plate, Pork Rillettes. I used a recipe by Simon Hopkinson which you can find here;
Here is what I did and how I baked it with lots of pictures to help you out.
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. caster sugar
2 bay leaves
About half a nutmeg ( I used about half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg)
1 level tbsp. juniper berries
2 tsp black peppercorns (I used mixed peppercorns)
1.2kg belly pork, bones and rind removed, but both reserved
500g fresh pork back fat
4-5 sprigs of sage, roughly chopped ( I also added some sprigs of thyme as well)
6 large cloves of garlic, crushed and loosely chopped
200mls dry white wine
Starting bottom left corner of picture: Bay leaves, cloves, caster sugar, peppercorns, nutmeg, juniper berries, sea salt.
Using a small food processor, grind together the first 7 ingredients to a fine powder.
Cut the belly pork and fat into approximately 2 cm cubes. Add this to a large bowl and sprinkle with the powder. Thoroughly mix together with your hands, turning the meat and fat over and over, then add the bones and rind of the belly (left as large pieces making them easier to remove once cooked) into the mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, pre heat the oven to 140c/gas mark 1. Put all the meat, pork fat and bones into a solid based pot and add the wine.
Add the garlic and sage (and thyme if your using).
Mix everything together with your hands.
Place the pot over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often: this is only to bring the pot up to heat before it goes into the oven. Put on the lid and slide it into the oven. Cook for 3 hours. Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.
Take out the pork skin and bones and thyme sprig left overs and discard. Suspend a colander over a large bowl and tip in the contents of the pot. Allow to drain for about 5 minutes, then decant the liquid fat from the bowl below the colander into a jug, reserving the pork juices and residue left behind.
Tip the long-cooked pork back into the first bowl that has the residue juices in it and, using a hand mixer on a low setting, briefly blend the small pieces of meat and fat into shreds. Add some of the liquid fat from the jug a little at a time whilst blending with the hand mixer until it forms a creamy texture. The mixture should be floppy and glistening with fat.
( a small warning here from someone who knows 😉 make sure your bowl is deep, otherwise everything in the vicinity gets flecked with pork rillettes)
Now pack the rillettes mixture into small pots or similarly sized Kilner jars (I used mason, it doesn’t matter). Smooth over the surface and then spoon/pour over at least 1/2 cm of the remaining pork fat to seal each one. Attach the lids and refrigerate to mature for at least a week before eating. You can keep these for up to six months as long as they’re packed into clean pots with no air pockets in the mix.
I use the gratuitous photobombed image for sizing of jar comparison, thank you Jason 😀
After a week, scrape off the fat to reveal the meat. Eat with either split baguettes or crackers and some nice cornichons or even a nice spicy chutney or fruit relish if having as part of a charcuterie plate.
I had such fun making these and Jason and I cannot wait to have a taste. The smell of the Juniper berries reminded me of the Bombay sapphire gin I so like. For anyone worried about the amount of fat in this dish, your only meant to have a small amount of it at a time and it is a vital part of the dish both for taste and for preservation of the meat. Don’t fret, just enjoy!
11 thoughts on “Pork Rillettes.”
This looks good, you must let us know how it tastes!
Oh I sure will! I had a hard time stopping Jason from eating it straight out of the bowl!
You didn’t even give the poor guy a spoon to lick?
I hereby present you with the Dragon Loyalty Award for all your good commenting! No strings attached and you don’t have to follow the “rules of acceptance.”
Wow! Thank you 😀 I love your blog and really appreciate the huge amount you do on this blog and in your everyday work life with Allan. One day in the next year or two, i’ll be coming and sharing a cup of something good with you both in your gorgeous little coffee shop and walk your garden paths that you travel every day. xox Oh and hug your kitties if they’ll let me 🙂
I can tell that “meat boy” is going to enjoy those rillettes. I have a recipe by Matthew Evans that I will most probably never make because even though Steve loves pate, he doesn’t trust “my” pate ;). Good to see at least one of our partners appreciates good food. I despair of Steve sometimes…I bake up a storm, I cook AMAZING things that I find online and I get to watch him eat it and say “tasty” or “I am ONLY ONE MAN”! Sigh…the man has NO stamina! ;). You are absolutely right about mum. She was all about the food and we never went short no matter how much she was on the bones of her bum. We were very lucky to have her as our mum :). Good to see at least one of us carrying on the food traditions. Apparently the girls are having a Korean Christmas meal on Christmas Day, goodness only knows what Stewart and Kelsey are having and we will be having an “elegant sufficiency” with a little bit of “de jour” floating on top :).
Thanks Fronkiii 😀 Yep, Christmas will be all over the shop for us too but that’s ok. Sabrina is spending it with Ryans family, though I plan on dropping in and catching up somehow and Tahlia is happily popping off to Narrogin to be with Corey’s sister,bro-in-law and their little toddler, plus his folks. I’m going to try and get Tahlia and Corey and Jim if he’ll come, over for a meal the weekend before Christmas. Keep on baking Fronkiii. Steve does appreciate it 😀 Jasons mum Max is always amazed at what Jason will eat now since we’ve been together. After doing my best to kill him with Gluten for most of our early years unknowingly, he’s still a willing trier of most things I bake, just no visible tomato pieces 😀 😀 😀 xoxox
Note the word “visible” ;). Give Max a hug from me when you next see her please and tell Jason that he is now officially “Meat Boy”! Poster model for all things meaty on your blog 😉
Hahahaha I will Fronkiii. xox
Oh boy so good and with juniper berries too! great!