pork rillettes for charcutepalooza

I took a little break from Charcutepalooza over the past two months. August’s challenge involved making a terrine, headcheese, trotters or mouselline, none of which I found particularly appealing. September was all about making various types of pâtés, some en crôute.  These options were a bit more exciting to me but with a vacation, the film fest and various other distractions, I couldn’t quite fit it in.

When the October challenge was posted I was excited to see that making rillette and confit were both options.  My first memorable (or maybe even my first period) experience with rillettes was during a trip to Niagara where we sampled some goodies, including rillettes, at Ravine. I have subsequently enjoyed rillettes while in London while dining at Arbutus. Rillettes is basically a meat spread that is made by poaching meat in fat. Health food, really.

I made pork rillettes since I already had the ingredients on hand (yes, I keep fat back and pork shoulder in my freezer) although you could make rillettes with other types of meat.  The process of making rillettes is really simple.  You season the meat and let it rest ideally overnight.  Then you combine the meat with water and sherry in a saucepan, bring it to a boil and allow it to simmer.  Then you wait. And wait.  While you’re waiting, your entire house will smell like pure porky, boozy goodness.  The scent is intoxicating.

What are you waiting for?  You’re waiting for the chunks of fat to become clear.  The recipe says this should happen in about two hours.  It totally didn’t for me.  After about 2.5 hours I started cutting the fat into smaller pieces hoping to speeds things up.  It helped, but not really.  At about the three hour mark I gave up.  I mean the fat was super soft, it just wasn’t clear.  I followed the rest of the recipe, draining the meat, mashing the fat and meat up etc.

I halved the recipe and ended up with two lovely ramekins filled with the porcine goodness.  I toasted up some baguette and served the rillette with my homemade zucchini dill pickles. Everything about this was fantastic.  The rillettes was really soft and not overly fatty.  The seasoning was spot on and I loved the notes that the sherry added to the mix.

This is totally one of those dishes that is easy to make and perfect for company.  Your friends will be impressed that you were able to whip up this goodness.  Serve this alongside some other charcuterie goodness and you’ll totally be a star.

I used the recipe found on the Charcutepalooza site. Enjoy!

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3 Responses to Charcutepalooza: Pork Rillette

  1. Mosaica says:

    Great post, Tonya! I’m also mad about rillettes now, and plan on having it be a regular thing in my kitchen, plus –I’m hoping it’ll make a great gift for my pork-lovin’ pals :-)

  2. Mzungu says:

    Great looking rillettes ……

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