Classic French Pork Rillettes

Classic Pork-Rillettes
Rillettes-GettyImages-642115763.jpg
Ratings (5)
  • Total: 3 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
407 Calories
25g Fat
3g Carbs
40g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 407
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 135mg 45%
Sodium 94mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 40g
Calcium 37mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Be warned, classic French pork rillettes are not a pâté, as you will find you find to your peril should you ever use the term in France. Rillettes are long, slow-cooked meats, usually cooked in their own fat, and a few herbs and seasoning. What is created by the long slow cooking is akin to pulled pork with a softer flavor. They are, quite simply, delicious. 

Spread rillettes on toasted baguette, sprinkle lightly with freshly cracked black pepper and salt for a quick, easy appetizer. For a bold flavor or gourmet appetizer spread the toasts with fig jam; the sweet jam and pork work so well together. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean pork (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 3/4 pound pork fatback
  • 1/2 pound duck legs (kept whole)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 325F.

  3. In a large ovenproof baking dish, mix all the ingredients.

  4. Tightly cover the dish with foil or a well-fitting lid. 

  5. Cook in the center of the oven for 3 hours, until the meat is falling apart.  It is imperative to keep checking the dish to make sure the meat is not drying out as it cooks; add more water if needed.

  6. Once cooked, remove the dish from the heat, leave the foil or lid in place and allow the meat to cool in the dish for 30 to 45 minutes until it is warm.

  7. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaf and duck bones and any little pieces of meat which may have dried too far.

  8. Shred and stir the meat and fat with a large fork until it resembles a chunky, creamy spread, if correctly cooked this will be very easy to do.

  9. Place the rillettes in a beautiful serving pot and level with the back of a spoon.

  10. Pour any remaining fat in the cooking dish over the surface to help keep the rillettes moist. 

  11. Chill the pâté for at least 24 hours before serving.

  12. Enjoy!

Kitchen Notes

  • The pâté will keep for several days untouched.

  • Once you have started eating, use within 72 hours. 

  • Classic pork rillettes from the French city of Tours are now protected under EU law's PDO status and as such must be made with pork to a particular recipe.