Christmas pork rillettes

Pork rillettes

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 3 hrs plus 2 hrs chilling

More effort

Serves 8
A French dish of potted meat with garlic, juniper and brandy. Slow-cook pork until tender then set into individual ramekins for a sensational starter

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal387
  • fat32g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein24g
  • salt0.5g


  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1kg rindless, boneless pork belly (it pays to use the best-quality pork you can find for this dish), cut into roughly walnut-sized cubes
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 10 juniper berries, roughly crushed, plush extra to decorate (optional)
  • ¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • large splash of brandy or Calvados
  • 4 tbsp duck or goose fat (optional)

To serve

  • sourdough toast
  • cornichons or sliced gherkins
  • dressed bitter leaves


  1. Reserve 1 bay leaf, then tip everything except the duck fat and serving suggestions into a bowl and season generously. If you have time, cover and leave the meat to marinate overnight in the fridge – however, this isn’t essential.

  2. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Tip the meat and all the juices into a flameproof casserole dish with a lid. Pour over 250ml water, or enough to just cover the meat, and place the pan on a low heat. As soon as it starts to bubble, pop on the lid and put in the oven for 2½-3 hrs, removing it once to give it a good stir.

  3. The meat should now be very tender. Leave it to cool slightly in the pan, then drain over a bowl to catch the fat and juices. Shred the pork by hand or put in a food processor and pulse a few times to shred, but don’t overwork it into a paste. Taste, add extra seasoning if needed, then press meat into 2 small or 1 large serving dish, or pack into individual ramekins. Pour the juices and fat back over the meat, and put in the fridge for at least 2 hrs for the fat to harden. (To keep the rillettes for a week or so, cover with a layer of duck fat, and lay a bay leaf and a couple of juniper berries on top for decoration.)

  4. Serve with sourdough toast, cornichons and a few bitter leaves (such as curly endive, rocket and radicchio), in a sharp mustardy dressing.

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Comments, questions and tips

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dreamweaver's picture
9th Jan, 2016
Amazing on hot toast! Used it as a starter one year for Christmas and it lasted for ages after as well. Moist, fragrant and light!
18th Jan, 2014
The recipe is really easy and the pork super moist and tender just a bit bland
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