Help me make Rillettes
May 18, 2014 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be making Rillettes following Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook recipe and everything is great except that I'm confused by one of the last instructions. It says to "Top each portion with a slice of two of pork fat to completely cover it, fold the mixture together a bit then . . .". That's the part that's confusing me. Am I supposed to use raw pork fat just cut into thin strips? What does it mean to cover and then fold the mixture? I'm just having a hard time visualizing that that means for me to do.
posted by Carillon to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am also a bit confused by this instruction. From my understanding, the point of spreading a layer of fat on the top of each serving container is to keep the meat moist and lock in all that deliciousness while the rillettes set. When I've made rillettes, spreading a bit of melted pork fat over the finished portion is the last step, and there's no folding (??) after.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 10:55 AM on May 18, 2014

For example, see here, at 18:00.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 10:58 AM on May 18, 2014

My guess based on reading the version of the recipe that's here is that you're using something more like lard -- rendered pork fat that's semi-solid -- than raw pork fat, and you're using it to seal the containers as in a typical rillettes recipe. The folding bit probably means tuck the sheet of fat in tightly to ensure everything is contained.

But that's definitely speculation, and based on a version of the recipe I found on the web, not the cookbook version.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:58 AM on May 18, 2014

I had the same thought as jacquilynne. I think for rillettes you would need caul fat.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

(Or rather, you would traditionally use it. You may not actually need to.)
posted by Room 641-A at 11:08 AM on May 18, 2014

When I make rillettes (the Ruhlman recipe in Charcuterie, so it might be a bit different), I melt lard in a sauce pan, the pour the liquid over the rillettes. You need to tamp down the meat into a flat surface so it doesn't poke through the fat. The general idea is that lard/fat is a great barrier for preserving food, so you want a decent layer over the top, maybe an eighth of an inch or so. Then you let it cool in the fridge until it hardens again.

Just as a safety thing, you want the rillettes to be chilled by this point. Covering warm meat with lard to seal it isn't the best thing from a food safety point of view.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:24 AM on May 20, 2014

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