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Rillettes

"Rillettes gets right to the heart of what's good: pork, pork fat, salt, and pepper," says chef Anthony Bourdain. "Easy and cheap to make, it's one of the great casual starters of all time." This recipe is exclusively from Bourdain.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork belly, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Bouquet Garni
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 pound pork fat, cut into thin slices

Cook's Note

"Just shape into an attractive round or square, comb the top with a fork, and dig in", chef Anthony Bourdain says. "Smeared on toasted baguette croutons and enjoyed with cocktails, or served as an appetizer, it sets the tone for an enjoyable, eat-with-your-hands-and-have-a-good-time kind of evening."

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Place the pork belly and shoulder in the heavy-bottomed pot. Add water and bouquet garni and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. After 6 hours, stir in salt and pepper and remove from heat. Discard bouquet garni.

  2. Step 2

    Once meat is cool enough to handle, transfer it to the mixing bowl; using a fork, shred the meat, taking care to preserve the natural filament -- meaning you want shreds, not mush. Feel free to shovel a little still-warm pork into your face. C'mon, you know you want to.

  3. Step 3

    Next, divide the mixture among several small containers. Top each portion with a slice or two of pork fat to completely cover it, fold the mixture together a bit, then wrap each container in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow to sit for 3 days before serving. This is the hardest part -- just know that it only gets better as those flavors marry up in the fridge.

  4. Step 4

    To serve: Scoop some out, form it into a vaguely artful shape (with a metal ring for instance), and garnish with toasted baguette rounds and cornichons. Left covered, rillettes will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Source
Radio, January Winter 2009