Rillettes De Paris …Holiday Spreads

Yummy Rillettes. When I was a stupid teenager I would look at this type as food as gross. I wish people would get over this misconception and actually taste something first. Granted this is not an everyday food, or very healthy for that matter, but why not for the holidays. Rillettes are any sort of meat or fish cooked down in fat. There are delicious salmon versions, duck, rabbit, and of course Pork. The French call it brown jam as its so spreadable . Serve Rillettes with crusty bread, cornichons,perhaps a tad of mustard and enjoy. A few weeks ago I promised my buddy Terry that I would make some after we had some at a party. Compared to other other pate spreads this is pretty cheap and simple to make . The only thing required is time. After comparing various recipes on the Internet, I decided to go for what seemed the easiest, but just as effective. A slow cooker version. Once the hard work of skinning and cutting the pork belly up in one inch pieces was achieved. I just seasoned and put the slow to cooker to work while I slept. A few turns over 10 hours and draining of the fat to reserve to seal later and by morning I had buttery soft brown pieces of slow cooked pork seasoned by Bay Leaf, salt, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, and mace. I could and should have added a little garlic as some recipe call for it and some don’t , but why not? Don’t let copious amounts of fat deter you. That helps preserve the Rillettes for a few week in the fridge if well sealed. And it just adds to the richness.
I plan on bringing to these to friends and family over the weekend. Once I potted the meat in the cute containers from World Market, I put them in a Bain Marie to insure more fat rose to the top after pouring some on top to seal. You want a good cover. Some say at least 1/4 of an inch if you want to preserve up to one month in the fridge. I’m sure ours will be finished by New Years.

Use your own taste for seasoning. You will find Rilletttes vary by region. Some just call for salt and pepper with Bay and some call for more. Think of what you like with Pork. Serve with loaves of Crusty bread and enjoy. For the recipe for Rilletes De Paris, I used click here. The author Jane Grigson advocates using a mortar and Pestle. I used my handy immersion blender for the task. Just be careful to the final texture. You want it smooth but not mushy. Most important serve at room temperature, not straight out of fridge.On New Years you can start your diet.