I love the way the word “rillette” sounds, and it has turned into one of my favorite charcuterie spreads. I would call it a meat spread but that does not sound very appetizing. A rillette is a preparation done with meat that is similar to a pate, or liverwurst, minus the liver. Traditionally, it was made using pork scraps, being that pork is very fatty, it makes a smooth and creamy like spread. The pork (I have used rabbit, and duck) is salted heavily and slow cooked in lard, confit style. The pork, once fork tender, is then cooled in the fat. After it has cooled it is shredded with a fork and mixed with the pork fat to create a creamy spread. The pork is then packed into a ramekin and a thin layer of pork fat is poured on top to preserve it. When ready to serve be sure to bring it up to room temperature as it will be hard like butter if served cold. Below is a duck rillette, I made this from the sage duck confit that I had left over.
I introduced myself to rillettes when I started working at the Ranch when I had left over duck confit to use. Like most traditional charcuterie boards, the pates and spreads seem a little weird and sometimes unappealing; my goal is to change that and produce items in the traditional manner, with a little twist to make them better and more appealing. Charcuterie boards are the best way to use the little duck confit that you have left from dinner the other night, or the livers left from the chicken you roasted. Every whole bird that you get will come with the gizzards and organs, so why not use them. A rillette, in my opinion, is the easiest to make and it does not contain liver, if you are not a fan of it.
Sage Duck Rillette
2#4oz Duck Confit (Cleaned from the bone)
~1# Duck Fat
12oz Duck Jelly
2.5T Fines Herbes
TT Salt and Pepper
- The duck fat and jelly should be left from making duck confit, the jelly is not as important but it adds a lot of flavor.
- With a fork, shred the duck with the chopped herbs. You can also do this process in a kitchen aid with a paddle or a food processor by pulsing.
- Heat the duck jelly and fat, separately, just enough to make them fluid.
- Add the duck fat and jelly and continue to mix. You are looking for a smooth creamy mixture. If it looks dry, add a little more duck fat.
- Season with brandy, salt and pepper. The amount of brandy is up to you and how much you want it to stand out.
- Pack the rillette into ramekins and cover with a layer thin layer of warm duck fat.
- Place the rillettes in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.
- Remove the rillettes from the fridge a couple of hours before serving for the best results.
I recently made a kumquat marmalade that would go very well with this on a warm piece of bread. Here is the charcuterie plate I did with the rillette.