Rillettes are not very far removed from the English potted meat, which is essentially cooked meat, pounded to a paste, and mixed with a little fat to make it rich and spreadable.

With a food processor, you can make all manner of potted meat and fish. All you need to do is cut the cooked meat into pieces, and put it in the bowl of the food processor with about half the quantity of softened butter, perhaps a little wine, vermouth, Madeira or port, some seasoning and herbs, and process until smooth.

Try venison with port and nutmeg, salmon with vermouth and chives, chicken with sherry and mace, duck with orange liqueur and black pepper. It is a very good way of using cooked leftovers.


  • 500 g (1 lb) belly pork, diced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dried sage
  • grated nutmeg
  • 100 mls (4 oz) water


Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Put the belly pork in a casserole with all the seasoning and water. Cook at the bottom of the oven for about 3 hours, until all the fat has melted and the meat is cooked.

Discard the bones and any skin from the casserole. Then place a sieve over a basin and pour a ladleful of the remaining meat and fat into the sieve. Take a fork in each hand and literally pull all the meat apart. It should all finish up in shreds.

Pack loosely into a jar, pot or pate dish, and add a little of the melted fat. Continue until all the meat has been shredded and potted and all the fat poured around it. Make sure that the top has a good layer of fat, which will form the seal once refrigerated.