We love our grub in this house - a little too much at times but I am always looking for ideas where I can make something and keep it in hand for a couple of weeks or so - really like a short store delicatessen - but this time storing in my fridge. We are quite happy come a lunch time to grab a chunk of cheese and some crackers, or bread, served with a salad and some chutney or just crackers chutney and cheese or pate. So we are quite easy come easy go in that regard. However I am always looking for ideas.
I bought two pate jars yesterday from John Lewis so now the hunt was on "figuratively" speaking for something to go into them. I think I have found a recipe that will do this nicely. The recipe is from Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg ISBN 978-0-85783-296-2. (A lovely book it is too). The idea behind this particular recipe was to give some friends a treat come Christmas or another celebration.
Rillettes are a coarse pate created from Pork belly slowly cooked with seasoning and herbs until it is really tender. The meat is then shredded before being packed in jars and then sealed with a layer of fat. This takes the air out of the jar but because its fat it does need to be kept somewhere cold. I have made lots of different types of pate before especially round the Christmas period but not so far the Rillettes.
I am going to add the ingredients to my Pantry shopping list so that I can make this on a regular basis. We have eaten Rillettes before but not home prepared so I am hoping that the flavour is going to be much richer. I will just look for another recipe if it is not. However I will not get to make this until I have a few more jars in hand which is likely to be next week (could be before if I come across some of the jars elsewhere). We are destined to go to the Butchers on Saturday in any event.
1.5kg boned and skinned pork belly
4 rashers of streaky smoked bacon without rind
6 juniper berries
6 black peppercorns
1 blade of mace
5 fat cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
300ml of dry white wine
2-4 tablespoons of Goose Fat (optional)
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/300 degrees F/Gas Mark 2.
Cut the pork belly into two centimetre pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Dice the streaky bacon and add to the bowl.
In a pestle and mortar lightly crush the juniper berries and peppercorns then add them to the bowl along with the Mace, Garlic, Thyme and Bay leaf. Season well with black pepper and sea salt.
Pour over the white wine and then mix the contents of the bowl well then transfer to a large solid casserole or terrine dish and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook on the bottom shelf of the oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the Pork is completely tender and falling apart.
Remove from the oven and pour the meat into a colander set over a bowl. Discard the thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns and juniper berries. Put the drained meat into another bowl and then shred the meat using two forks. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if required. Pack the meat into sterilised jars or a terrine or an earthenware dish and pour over a little of the liquid that drained into the bowl.
When the meat is cold cover and chill for 30 minutes. Pour over a layer of the strained fat or goose fat, seal the jars and chill until ready to serve.
Store in the fridge where they will keep for a couple of weeks provided the meat is covered with a good layer of fat. Bring back to room temperature to serve.
Can be used as an impromptu supper, for a picnic, as a starter to a main meal. Its up to you how you eat it or what you eat it with. Remember there are no wrong or right ways - just your way.
Catch you later.