Thursday, 7 October 2010

Rillons - Confit pork belly

I'm not a vegetarian but I'm no blood-thirsty carnivore either. I'll happily much my way through meat-free meals without so much as thinking about the big hunk of chicken or piece of steak that I could have been eating. To me a well made vegetarian dish can be every bit as good as -if not better than- its meaty counterpart. That said, there are those times when I get an itch that only something rich, unctuous, succulent and meaty can scratch, it's times like these that rillons were invented for...Rillons -a French speciality from the Loire Valley- are a kind of confit pork belly. Chunks of fatty belly pork slowly cooked in there own fat with a splash of wine, lots of garlic and thyme until they they become succulent, soft and melt in the mouth tender. After 3-4 hours of slow cooking they are very hard to resist but the French way is to eat them cold, I ate mine with homemade bread and Dijon mustard. Left preserved in their fat they should keep for a good few days in the fridge and make a great snack to take away hose carnivorous hunger pangs.I used Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe as a guide adapting it to my taste. This kind of food is hugely adaptable, there's no reason why you couldn't use all manner of different herbs and seasonings, although being French I would say garlic was essential.

Recipe:
Ingredients:
  • 1 pork belly weighing around 1kg or bigger diced into 1 1/2 inch squares
  • Sea salt
  • Lard
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • A glass of red wine
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme
Method:
  • Melt about a tablespoon of lard in a very hot pan and brown the cubes of pork until they are golden all over.
  • Season the pork with the salt and put all the pieces into a roasting dish along with the garlic, red wine, thyme and the fat from the frying pan.
  • cook in a low oven for anywhere from 2-4 hours until the meat is very tender.
  • Leave the meat in the roasting dish until cold and eat with good bread.

9 comments:

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

This I have to try

croquecamille said...

There's nothing a little hog fat can't improve! Well done, your rillons look great!

pigpigscorner said...

Simple yet soooo yummy! I can never resist chunks of pork with fats.

dining table said...

This is something that I should try. There is really nothing wrong with fats once in a while!

The Caked Crusader said...

oh my - confit pork belly - have three words ever brought greater joy?
Looks divine!

Antonia said...

That looks absolutely divine. Never heard of rillons. Clearly I've been missing out. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Joie de vivre said...

Oh my goodness, this actually made my mouth water!

Hungry Dog said...

Wow. That sounds amazing! I need to keep this in mind next time I'm feeling ambitious in the kitchen. Like your blog!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Oh my! I haven't had pork belly in ages and this looks truly fantastic!