Potted pork rillettes with gooseberries and tarragon
- May 2017
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on 40 min, oven 3-4 hours, plus chilling
Gill Meller’s pork rillettes is a fancy picnic recipe served with a quick gooseberry and tarragon chutney which cuts through the richness of the rillettes perfectly.
- 42.5g (14.3g saturated)
- 3.4g (1.7g sugars)
- 1kg British free-range pork belly 3-4 garlic cloves, bashed
- Small bunch fresh thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 100g pork or goose fat, gently warmed until liquid
- 200g gooseberries (or grapes, when gooseberries aren’t in season)
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- Leaves from 2-3 fresh tarragon sprigs, chopped
You’ll also need…
- 1 litre Kilner jar, sterilised, or ramekins
- Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. Cut the pork belly into thick pieces, 8-10cm long (see tip). Rub them with plenty of salt and pepper, then put in a solid ovenproof dish – they should fit snugly. Tuck in the garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and bay leaves, pour over the fat and 200ml cold water. Cover the dish tightly with foil and put in the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender when tested with a fork.
- Lift the pork from the dish and, when it’s cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the meat and fat finely using 2 forks (discard any membrane, skin, cartilage or bone). Put the meat in a large bowl. Strain the cooking fat and pan juices through a fine sieve into a clean jug, discarding the solids (you’ll need 250-300ml liquid). Mix well, then ladle the liquid over the pork and combine. (Keep any remaining cooking liquid in the fridge; once it’s cold you’ll be able to separate the set fat from the stock and use them both for other recipes.)
- Season the rillettes with salt and pepper to taste, then pack the mixture into a sterilised jar or ramekins, or spoon into a bowl. Cover and chill in the fridge until set – about 1 hour.
- Halve the gooseberries (or grapes) and mix with the sugar, vinegar and tarragon. Season with a little salt and pepper, then taste. If your gooseberries/grapes are quite ripe you might need a dash more vinegar; if they’re very sharp, a sprinkle more sugar might be required. Serve the gooseberries/grapes alongside the rillettes with plenty of toast or crusty bread.
You’ll need a very sharp knife to cut through the skin of the pork belly, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
When gooseberries are in their short early-summer season, this recipe works brilliantly with them. At any other time of year you can use grapes (as we did for our photo shoot) or frozen gooseberries, if you can get hold of them.
Keep for up to 10 days in the fridge in a sealed container. For best results, bring the rillettes back to room temperature before serving.
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