Rillettes de Porc
(pronounced "ree-et-der-por") is very French and very tasty! If you're on a strict diet, maybe choose something different since Rillettes contain a lot of grease, but for a special treat Rillettes de Porc
is unusual and despite the long cooking time, pretty much looks after itself.
It's not a paté but you could think of it as one if it helps you envisage it and how you will use it. In fact, in France, you can also buy Rillettes de Canard (duck) and Rillettes de Lapin (rabbit), but if anybody simply says "Rillettes", it's assumed to be pork.
How to make Rillettes de Porc:
Rub the meat well with plenty of salt and leave to stand for 6 hours.
Peel and crush (mince) the garlic then cut the meat and the fat into small cubes and sprinkle with the garlic, the herbs, wine and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Mix everything well and pile into an ovenproof dish. Cover and cook in a preheated cool oven (Mk 1 - 275ºF - 140ºC) for 4 hours.
Turn the meat into a sieve (strainer) to drain off the fat, which you should reserve for use in a moment. Shred the meat well, using two forks, then spoon it either into individual ramekin dishes or into a larger ceramic dish from which people can help themselves. Pour over enough of the reserve fat to cover the meat with a thin layer about 1/8
" (3mm) thick. Chill until set.
Remove from the fridge ½ hour before serving. Serve with cornichons (small gherkins) and French bread.
If you think your guests may not have encountered rillettes before, you might want to warn them to scrape away the layer of fat before they dig into the deep, luscious meat below.