Potted Pork - Rillettes de porc

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Remove the ribs, the gristle and the skin from a fresh pork belly.
Rub vigorously all over with 100 g of sea salt, crushed very fine and flavoured with bay leave, thyme, mace, cinnamon sage, marjoram, basil, nutmeg, clove and pepper.
Wrap the meat in a dish towel, and leave for 2 hours.

Cut the meat into 2-1/2 cm squares.
Melt 75 g pork fat in a heavy saucepan, add the pieces of meat and fry slowly, bowning them on all sides but keeping the fat clear and white.

With a skimmer remove the pieces of fat which have turned golden.
Drain the melted fat into a container and set aside.
Chop the pieces of fat, and return them, with 1 cup of water, to the pan.
Cook very slowly for 7-8 hours, stirring and maintaining the level of liquid by adding more water as the water in the pan evaporates.

At this point in the cooking the water should be almost totally reduced.
Remove from the heat, and season with 1 teaspoon of paprika.
Add the drained fat to the puree of cooked meat and fat, and mix well unti lthe meat is completely cold.
It should be a fine smooth paste which melts in the mouth, as a result of the slow cooking.

Divide the rillettess among medium-sized earthenware pots of about 1/2 l capacity.
Pack down to avoid pockets of air, and cover with a 3 mm layer of melted lard.
To preserve the rillettes for a long time, when you have filled the pots, heat them in a bain-marie for 25 minutes.
While coolng, stir each pot often to keep the contents perfectly smooth.

Cover with fat and aluminium foil.
Recipe from Paul Bocuse - The New Cuisine
Translated by Colette Rossant and Lorraine Davis
Granada Publishing

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