I had some pork shoulder leftover from making the Giant Pork Pie so I decided to make pork rillettes. The recipe says to use half shoulder and half belly, but I chucked in a bit of extra home-made lard to keep the fat content up. Rilletes are easy to make, delicious and last for quite a while in the fridge – for some reason I don’t actually understand slow-cooking them in fat preserves them. If sealed with lard and kept in an airtight container they should keep for weeks – actually it will keep for months.
Pork Rillettes: 1kg pork (shoulder, belly – whatever), 300g lard, 100ml of water, salt and pepper, nutmeg, mixed spice, couple of sprigs of thyme, 2 bayleaves, 3-4 cloves.
Cut the pork into strips. Put in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the lard and water. Wrap the thyme, bayleaves and cloves in some muslin and pop in the pan. Heat until just barely bubbling (very very gentle simmer) and cook for hours and hours and hours – either on the stove top or in a very very gentle oven. You can put a lid half on if you want. When the meat if very very tender and can be shredded with a fork – shred it. There shouldn’t be too much liquid left in the pan, but it shouldn’t be too dry either. Add salt and pepper and the spices to taste. Put it all in a pot and chill – it will solidify. You can put the rillettes in preserving jars or tuperware and cover with a layer of lard if you want to keep it for a while. I just put ours in this dish as we will eat it quickly
Serve with sweet pickled cucumbers to cut through the fat and also with a salad with a robust mustardy dressing.