Rillettes: How to impress people for $4 a pound

One of my favorite things to make is pork rillettes. I’m cutting back on amount of money I spend on food, which means a lot of cheap cuts of meat cooked at low temperatures for a long time. Recently I made a pretty damn good pork, poblano and hominy chili, which was good. But it turned out that what I did with the leftover pork shoulder was way better, Rillettes. Rillettes are yet another wonderful French culinary staple. My friend who I gave this to referred to them as “bomb ass pork butter” and while they look hard, they’re one of the easiest things ever to make.

The start of something beautiful

Three and a half pounds of pork shoulder (some people cut in pork belly, but I don’t think it adds enough flavor to justify the expense), a bouquet garni (In case you need to know) and four cups of water. Just let it just barely simmer for six hours while watching garbage TV, going for a walk, catching up on homework, and checking on it occasionally. You want to render all of the fat off of it so it cooks in its own fat at the very end.

Dry, but not parched

At the end, it shouldn’t look at all appetizing. Kind of like cat food really, but it’ll smell great and I won’t blame you at all if you shovel some of this deliciousness into you face. In fact you should eat some so you can season it properly with salt and pepper. The trick now is to let it cool before eating all of it, and jar it in little jars.

I’m missing one because I made a sandwich

You do have to seal off the top though. My trick is to melt about a stick of butter with some dried thyme in the pan. Then pour that over the top. Add a little more salt and pepper to the butter and your done. That’s literally all it takes.


Now comes the hard part, waiting. It takes a full three days for the flavors to fully mature in these things. Trust me, you can do it, you’re more powerful than the pork.

Don’t give into temptation!

When they’re done, you’re set for breakfast for a whole month, but probably less, if you’re like me, I like to pass them out to my friends. It’s filling as hell and tastes great. I always find I have to add more salt but there’s no right or wrong way to eat this stuff. Most people say room temperature is the way to go but I like mine slightly warmer.

Make sure to also eat a salad too.




One thought on “Rillettes: How to impress people for $4 a pound

Leave a Reply