Caillettes

Caillettes are an Ardéchois speciality. They are made from chopped pork mixed either with spinach, lettuce and herbs or pureed potatoes, and resemble English faggots which are also cooked under a veil of caul.

This recipe is probably of more interest to those readers who acquire their pork in whole or half carcass and are therefore anxious to dispose in some palatable way of those curious looking items that arrive from the slaughterhouse alongside the more recognizable joints of meat. And looking at the amount of spinach it takes, I reckon you need to grow that too: a recipe for the self-sufficient.

Ingredients

  • 3 kg( lb) small Swiss chard leaves or spinach
  • 300 g(10½ oz) lights
  • 300 g(10½ oz) pig’s liver
  • ½ pig’s heart
  • 300 g(10½ oz) hard pork fat
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • milled pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 pig’s caul

Method

Wash the Swiss chard or spinach in plenty of cold water, and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water, drain well, tip into a cloth and press out as much moisture as possible. Chop finely.

Mince all the pork on medium setting, and then mince again. Turn the meat into a bowl with the salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and spinach. Mix together well to combine everything really thoroughly.

Take small handfuls weighing about 140 g(5 oz) and form the caillettes into the shape of a ball. Place them in a roasting tin and cover with the pig’s caul stretched out thinly.

Cook in a moderate oven (Mark 5, 190°C, 375°F) for 1–1½ hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then cut the caillettes apart and serve hot with potatoes; or serve cold with a salad.

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