Pork Rillettes – Rich & Rustic

This entry is filed under Snacks & Dips, Starter Recipes.

Succulent & Satisfying Spread On Crusty Bread 

Pork Rillettes or Rillettes de Porc are best described as a type of coarse textured pate.They’re commonplace in France, with each country town seemingly having its own special recipe.

I love everything about Rillettes. They’re cheap and simple to make and taste delicious. Even kids like them! Mine go through jarfuls of the stuff, so if you haven’t tried them before, give them a try now. (for recipe see March posts)

One bite of that rich, rustic texture and I guarantee it’ll transport you to a French Brasserie. Well that’s the effect they had on me when I first tried them.

Rillettes are perfect for a light lunch or late night snack. They work best spread on toast or a crusty baguette washed down with some red wine.

Tetbury is blessed to have award winning ‘Jessie Smith’ as the local butcher and manager John Newman sources meat within a 4 mile radius. Wherever you shop, look for pale pink meat with plenty of fat as this enriches the meat as it cooks.

Cook slowly and you’ll be rewarded with juicy, tender meat. I make the most of the oven by cooking rillettes in with a casserole (see February’s Lazy Coq Au Vin.)

The good news is pork rillettes will happily keep fresh for up to two weeks in the fridge. And if you seal and bottle them properly, they will last for several months (though we’ve never managed to keep them this long!)

The secret is to pack the meat down into sterilized Kilner jars then cover with a generous layer of fat (about 1/2 cm thick) before clamping down the lid and making it airtight.

If you can resist it, leave for a day to allow the flavours to mingle, though this isn’t essential.

Another plus is that a jar of pork rillettes makes a great gift – after all who doesn’t love a jar of something homemade?


Serving Size: 4 small jars – 8 portions
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3-3½ hours
Effort Level: Dead easy
Shelf Life: 2 weeks in fridge. 2 months in larder


1 kg belly pork
4-5 fat cloves garlic
1 large sprig rosemary
2 bay leaves
150-200ml water (or dry white wine)
Freshly ground salt and black pepper

Chopping board and sharp knife
Terrine or loaf tin
2 forks or food processor (optional)
4 small Kilner jars or similar
Sieve & bowl
Tin foil

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 130/Gas ½

Get your butcher to remove the thick, outer rind and any bones first, then slice the pork into narrow strips.

Finely chop the garlic and add to the pork, season well with a healthy grinding of salt and black pepper then mix together with your fingers before packing into the terrine.

Push the rosemary sprig into the meat along with two bay leaves and pour on enough cold water or white wine to cover the meat (approximately 150-200ml).

Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 3-3½ hours.

When the pork is tender and falling apart, turn off the oven and leave the terrine inside to cool down.

Once cool, remove the bay leaves and rosemary stalk then carefully strain the liquid into a bowl and put aside.

Shred the meat using a couple of forks, or pulse very briefly in the food processor to a course pate texture.

Taste and adjust the seasoning, then pack the meat into sterilised kilner jars.

Pour over enough of the reserved liquid to cover the meat by a good ½ cm and leave in the fridge to set.

You can halve the quantities if preferred.


Coming up next week….Moules Marinière

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One Response to “Pork Rillettes – Rich & Rustic”

  1. I am continually browsing online for posts that can aid me. Thanks!

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