Belly pork is the cut traditionally used for this dish, with as much fat as lean. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find, however, with modern breeds of slimline pigs. The whole point of rillettes is the texture and flavour supplied by the fat. No one says you have to eat the whole potful in one go! Rillettes keep well in the refrigerator for a week or so, and make a good sandwich filling. A scoop of rillettes with lettuce salad, a pickle or two, bread and a glass of wine makes for a good lunch, or they can be spread on fingers of hot toast as appetizers to serve with drinks. Goose, duck, rabbit or mixed meats, such as duck and pork or rabbit and pork, can also be used.
Cut the meat into
Pour the contents of the casserole into a large sieve set over a bowl. Remove any bones and the herbs, and transfer the meat to a board. Shred the meat with two forks and pack it into straight-sided pots or jam jars. Pour on the fat so that it seeps into the meat and covers the surface. Cool, cover and refrigerate.
It is worth making double quantities of this recipe to give as presents, and for buffet lunches.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.