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Pork Rillettes are a Classic French Recipe

By definition, pork rillettes are made using a preservation method similar to duck confit. The pork is seasoned, then slow-cooked submerged in fat and cooked at a grandmotherly pace for several hours. Afterward, the pork is shredded and packed into sterile containers, covered in a thin veneer of fat and stored. While rillettes are most commonly made with pork, they can also be made with other meats such as goose, duck, chicken, game birds, rabbits and sometimes even with fish such as anchovies, tuna, or salmon.

Pork rillettes make a perfect snack, an easy appetizer, a picnic staple, or a salad topping.

And, I crave them!

Pork Rillettes Classic French Recipe

Pork Rillettes

Because of the lengthy cook time, Lisa and I like to make a big batch of rillettes every winter and freeze them in small jars ready to enjoy all throughout the year. Rillettes are best served at room temperature spread thickly on toasted bread.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French, Provencal


  • 1.5 lbs (.68kg) Boneless Pork Shoulder cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 lb (.45kg) Pork Belly cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 Duck legs
  • 2 cups (454ml) White Wine
  • 5 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 2 cups (454ml) Melted Pork Fat (lard or duck fat)


  • Preheat the oven to 250°F (121ºC).
  • In a large Dutch oven over high heat, combine the pork shoulder, pork belly, duck legs, wine, salt, nutmeg, star anise, cinnamon stick, rosemary, thyme, and fat.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and braise in the oven for about six hours, or until the meat completely falls apart at the slightest touch.
  • Remove from the oven. Use a Chinese wire mesh strainer to lift out all the solid pieces, reserving the liquid.
  • Discard the duck bones, star anise, cinnamon stick, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Shred the pork either by hand or put it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Pack into clean jars and top with a thin veneer of liquid fat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for a few days before digging in or freeze and keep until you are ready to eat.


3 Ways to Serve Pork Rillettes:
As an appetizer: In a clear glass jar with a latching lid crammed full of pork rillettes arranged on a rustic wooden cutting board with cornichon, 24-hour pickled onions, Dijon mustard, and toasted baguette.
As heartier main course salad: I like to toss whatever bitter greens you can find at the farmers market or in your local greengrocers.
In a quiche (seriously how French is that?): In Jane Grigson cult classic Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery, she mentions a regional quiche called Quiche Tourangelle. Find a basic quiche recipe online and instead of using ham and cheese, or whatever they use as the filling simply put a layer of rillettes down.
Keyword Duck, Pork
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Chef François de Mélogue

Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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