Saturday, 4 May 2013


Ever since our recent trip to Europe where we spent most of our time in France eating I have been dying to try making pork rillettes. The stuff we would pick up at little traiteur's was amazing , melt in your mouth and not at all expensive. As much as I LOVE to cook these little traiteur's with their range of ready made delights were such a dream and definitely something I miss about not living in a big city. The range of food you could pick up was huge and they would often be open late into the evening. A variety  of potted meats like rillettes and pate along with salads and the most delicious discovery of all -what seemed to be fried balls of bread oh the goodness!

On the Island I normally buy Casta Miro's version at the saturday market so this is what i was modeling mine on. Those who know me know that pate is a favorite and I guess you could say specialty of mine.  Im no baker but man do I love to fry up chicken livers add a dash of sherry/marsala etc and whizz it up into a little pot of deliciousness.  So I thought how hard could rillettes be ... well not hard at all! Although I would not recommend trying to do slow cooked beef cheeks at the same time, there was also a thunderstorm going on that was shaking the lockwood like crazy.

A few days earlier I visited my local butcher who is super helpful and lovely and had a chat about where they get their pigs from and what I would need, turns out they were ' doing' a pig the next day and would set aside what I needed.

I have to say we are very lucky here on Waiheke to have the Village Butchery where they offer great advice and are happy to stop and have a chat about how best to cook what cuts, this is how I ended up with the terrific  beef cheeks, so cheap and done nice and slow totally melts in your mouth!. I recently discovered short ribs- another amazing cut that need hardly anything done other than to simmer away in the oven in red wine for a very long time - I first had these at Depot and they do them very well but I imagine Al Brown being impressed with mine!

Recipe is from  the book Pork and Sons By Stephane Raynaud. While reading this book you
may experience the desire to start your own pig farm and produce all manner of porky delights but that could have just been me.

Melting the pork fat, onion, garlic, thyme and white wine.

Lucky I had a cupboard full of Miro rillette jars.

The beef cheeks also deserve a mention and if you were wondering that is black potato mash, probably wouldn't do that again.

Digging in to the rillettes for Sunday lunch.

So voila! not hard, certainly not expensive and so worth it!


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