This is a traditional French country recipe made most commonly from pork belly.
I first came across it years ago, I think in a Sophie Grigson book and have made it quite a few times. Without the food processor however it is a bit of a faff as after cooking you have to shred the pork manually with two forks. Which takes agent.
However with the food processor it’s just a quick whizz, although there is a long slow cooking process. There are many different recipes for rillettes but the directions below are based on a Mary Berry recipe.
- 900g belly pork with the rind removed (keep it in one piece if you can)
- 3 tablespoons of sherry
- 2 cloves
- ⅓ teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Freshly milled black pepper
- Cut the pork into chunks and remove any bone or gristle.
- Put the pork, the sherry, cloves, nutmeg, garlic and seasoning into an ovenproof dish. You can also put in any larger bones as well, for flavour
- If you have bought the belly pork in one piece you can then drape the rind/skin over the top (optional)
- Transfer to the oven and cook on 325℃ / 160℉ or gas mark 3 for 3 -5 hours or until the pork is very tender and falls apart
- Remove the cloves and any bones and skin
- Put the meat into the food processor and process in batches in short bursts. It should not be over processed and you should be able to see the meat fibres.
- Divide the mixture into about 6-8 ramekins or in a large terrine
- Pour in any liquid from the casserole and let it cool and set
- Then melt the butter and pour over the top to form a seal
This dish is probably best made the day before.
You can leave out the sherry if you want, or use something else maybe dry white wine or lemon juice. Some recipes include juniper berries and/or bay leaves when cooking.
Rillettes are mostly made using pork but you can also use other meat such as duck or goose.