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    Pork Rillettes with Balsamic Salad and Toast

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    Pork Rillettes with Balsamic Salad and Toast

    Rillettes make a change from pâté and are delicious spread on toasted rye bread with a little salad on the side. You can make them in advance as they’ll keep for a week under a thin layer of fat.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 24 hours chilling
    • Cooking time: 210 minutes to 240 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 55 minutes to 4 hours 25 minutes, plus 24 hours chilling 30 minutes

    Serves: 6 - 8

    Ingredients

    • Balsamic salad
    • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 6 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 gherkins, finely chopped
    • 100g mixed salad leaves
    • rye or walnut bread, sliced and toasted
    • Pork rillettes
    • 900g pork belly, rind removed and cut into short strips
    • 300g goose fat or lard
    • 150ml white wine
    • 20 juniper berries, crushed
    • 1½ tbsp sea salt
    • 1½ tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp dried thyme
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
    • ½ tsp ground allspice
    • ½ tsp ground cloves
    • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
    • 2 thyme sprigs
    • 3 fresh bay leaves plus extra to garnish

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 130°C, gas mark ½. Place the belly in a large casserole dish with the other rillettes ingredients and mix well. Cover with a tight lid and cook for 3½–4 hours until the pork is soft and surrounded by melted fat.
    2. Pour off the juices through a sieve into a measuring jug. Put this in the fridge or freezer for 15–30 minutes, to let the fat rise and set. Remove the fat and transfer to a small pan. Shred the meat with two forks and mix with 4–6 tbsp juices from the jug, to make it moist. Check the seasoning, then pack into 6–8, 100ml bowls or a 900ml terrine. Warm the pork fat over a low heat until melted and pour just enough on top of the terrine to create a thin seal. Garnish with a few bay leaves. Set in the fridge for 24 hours.
    3. To make the salad dressing, place the mustard in a bowl; add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, then add the gherkins. Dress the salad and toast the bread. Serve with the rillettes.

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