Pork and Duck Rillettes

Great with pickles

When I lived in the farmhouse on the windy Yorkshire hillside I had a recipe column in the local paper, which meant I was forever playing about with ideas, in my notebook by this one I wrote, utterly wonderful.

At Christmas to make sure there’s lots of cold meat for wraps on Boxing Day I often cook a duck alongside the Christmas roast. Before cooking I remove the legs and wings to make my take on rillettes using duck and pork. This is about very, very slow cooking, no muttering or spluttering of pans. When I had an Aga I’d cook them in the bottom oven for at least 5 hours. More fat is good here, the slow oven allows the fat to melt so the meat gently poaches in it.

Leave the rillettes for a couple of days to give space for the flavours to develop. Serve with walnut or toasted sour dough bread, sweet dill pickles, a fruity plum chutney and watercress salad.

Duck and Pork Rillettes

  • 800g pork belly
  • legs and wings of a duck
  • slithered zest of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic slithered
  • grating of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Serves 8

Oven 120C

  1. Remove skin from pork. Cut meat into 2cm dice.
  2. Put duck pieces, pork skin, cubed meat, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaf and zest into a large lidded cast iron pan.
  3. Put into oven to cook for 3.5 hours.
  4. By now the flesh will be very, very soft and easy to pull apart. If it’s not quite done give another half hour in the oven.
  5. Pour contents through a sieve into a bowl.
  6. Remove and throw away pork, duck skin and zest.
  7. Using two forks tear and shred the meat.
  8. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, go easy at first, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  9. Stir in most of the reserved fat, to make a soft pate, then put meat in bowls.
  10. Seal the surface of the rillettes with the remaining fat. If there isn’t enough then melt a little lard to seal the pots.
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