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How to Make Great Pork Rilletes

Updated on December 31, 2010
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Pork Rilletes are old school French good eating. Classic bistro fair that’s perfect with a little crusty bread for a starter, and by adding a crisp green salad – you’ve got yourself a light lunch in minutes.

You probably don’t have a jar of long-keeping pork rilletes spread in your fridge, but here are 3 reasons why you should:

  1. You can’t mess it up. Rilletes are dead easy to make.
  2. Once made, rilletes keep for weeks in your fridge. Got a dinner party coming up in a couple of weeks but got some extra time on your hands now? Get a jump and take care of the appetizer now by making up a pot of delicious pork rilletes.
  3. It tastes great!

Here’s how to make it.

Pork Rilletes Recipe

Loosely based on a recipe from Charcuterie by Michael Rhulman…which is a great book and very worth buying! Here’s a recipe that gives you a couple of pounds of rilletes, which depending on how fast you go through the stuff, should keep you in delicious silky pork for weeks!

  • 2 pounds of pork but, chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup of good pork lard, preferably homemade (if you don’t know how to render your own lard, click here for lard rendering instructions)
  • 4 cups of veal or pork stock
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Salt and pepper freshly cracked pepper for seasoning
  1. Preheat your oven to 300
  2. Heat the stock and lard to a simmer in on the stove top.
  3. Meanwhile, get a good casserole dish, or any roasting container deep enough to hold the pork and stock and add in the pork cubes, the onion, the bay leaves, 1 tsp of salt, the thyme, the garlic and the cloves
  4. Pour the hot stock over the pork and cover the casserole or roasting pan tightly. If you don’t have a tight fitting lid, use foil to make one.
  5. Roast slowly for 4 or 5 hours, or until the meat is falling apart tender
  6. Once tender, remove from the oven and pour off the liquid into a sauce pan or deep bowl to reserve.
  7. In another mixing bowl, toss in the cooked pork, discarding the vegetables, spices and herbs. Using a large wooden spoon or something equally substantial, stir and smoosh up the pork until it’s transformed into smooth spreadable mass, adding enough of the reserved liquid as needed to keep things from getting too dry (you want it to be a spreadable texture). You could alternatively use your mixer with the paddle attachment, if elbow grease isn't your thing.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  9. To store for any length of time, you need to cover this mixture completely with rendered fat. The easiest way to get this fat is to transfer the remaining reserved liquid to the fridge for an hour or so, or until the fat rises completely to the surface and hardens at the top. You can then lift off the lard from the top and spread it over the rilletes in their storage container (which is traditionally a small pot or jar, but can be anything you like). Make sure to spread about ½ inch of fat completely over all of the surface at the top.
  10. You can now keep this, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks.
  11. Remove the rilletes from the fridge a couple of hours before serving, for best texture and taste.

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