Rillettes served with cornichons, mustard and toasted sourdough bread
- 3 lbs pork belly (the really fatty kind) skinned and boned
- 1 liter of water
- Bouquet garni (thyme, rosemary and bay leafs work well)
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Rock salt and pepper to season
- Slices of pork fat for sealing
- Cut the pork belly into squares, about 2 inches.
- Let them simmer with the water, bouquet garni, peppercorns, garlic and a sprinkling of salt in a large pan under a lid.
- Make sure the pan doesn’t dry out so the meat starts to caramellize. Add a bit more water if necessary.
- After about five hours the meat and fat should be tender enough for you to tear it into strips, without disintegrating into a mush.
- Let it cool down and season with salt and pepper.
- Place it in a bowl or on a large chopping board and use two forks to shred the meat and fat into strips. At this point it is unbearably tempting to transfer the pork into your mouth rather than a bowl. This is perfectly fine but try to keep most of it for the final product.
- You can now add the mixture of fat and meat to small ramekins or a pickle jar. Press it down as much as you can and seal the top with a couple of slices of pork fat. If you are using individual ramekins, try to place something heavy on top to tighten the mixture.
- Place in the refrigerator. It’s ready to eat after a couple of days and will keep for several weeks. However, I would be very surprised if anybody can let it sit for that long.
- Serve on sourdough toast with cornichons, rock salt and French mustard.