The lean and tender cuts of meat don’t need much attention, they are delicious just as they are, particularly when it involves traditional breed pork. The cheaper cuts can be just as lovely, but involve more processing. Rillettes takes a long time to cook, but is really easy and well worth it.
This recipe is based on Delia’s, but is modified to use the slow cooker, and using traditional breed pork, which is naturally fattier.
rillettes de porc
2.2 kilos belly pork
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp mace
1 tsp salt
20 black peppercorns, crushed
20 juniper berries, crushed
4 cloves garlic, crushed
250 ml dry white wine
Remove and discard the rind and cut the pork into cubes about 3cm across, mix with the remaining ingredients and leave to marinade overnight in the fridge (this bit isn’t essential, but does allow the flavours to develop and gives you more time for the cooking the next day).
Pack into the slow cooker and cook on medium for about 8 hours, stirring from time to time as there isn’t a lot of liquid – more will form as the fat renders out.
When it is ready the meat will be very tender and separating from the fat – most of which will have vanished.
Strain the meat in a colander over a bowl – collecting the juice and fat. Stir the meat around,and pick out any lumps of pure fat, and discard, but don’t worry overly. Once the mixture had drained as much as possible, pour the liquid into a gravy separator and set aside to let the fat settle out, whilst you tackle the rest. Stand the colander on a plate to catch any further juice, then, using two forks, shred the meat thoroughly and place into your containers – I use three, one to eat over the next couple of days, the other two for the freezer. Don’t pack the meat down too tightly. Next pour over the flavoursome stock (jelly) over the dishes. Traditionally some of the fat should be poured over the top too, to keep the meat moist, but this is optional, and we usually leave it off.
Allow to set, preferably overnight.
Serve with French bread, or doorsteps of crusty toast.