Pork Rillettes

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Appears in

The Complete Book of Home Preserving

The Complete Book of Home Preserving

By Mary Norwak

Published 1978

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  • 2 lb/1 kg belly pork
  • 4 oz/100 g flare fat or lard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg


Weigh the meat when the skin and bones have been removed. If flare fat is not available from the butcher, use pure lard. Cut the pork and fat into 1 in/2.5cm cubes and put into a heavy pan with ¼ pint/125ml cold water. Cover and cook at 275°F/140°C/Gas Mark 1 for 4 hours. Turn into a sieve so that the liquid runs through, and keep this liquid. Pull apart the meat and fat with two forks so that it is shredded finely, season well and pack into a pot. Strain over the reserved liquid fat. Cool and cover and store in a cold place. Rillettes will keep for months in a cold place. The mixture should be soft enough to spoon out and spread on wholemeal bread or toast. For a richer flavour, add a crushed garlic clove, a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme to the meat while it is cooking, but remove the herbs before shredding the meat.

Rillettes can also be prepared from mixtures of poultry or rabbit with pork. Try using a young rabbit with 12oz/300g belly pork and 4oz/100g flare fat or lard; or a mixture of equal weights of chicken, pork and fat; or use equal quantities of pork, boned goose and lard. Usually, rillettes made with poultry and rabbit are rather smooth, but pork rillettes should be more ‘thready’. The meat must always be cooked very slowly so that the pieces of meat do not become hard.

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