Pork and Duck Rillettes

11:30 am on 8 August 2011

(Serves 6)


  • 375 g (13 oz) pork belly
  • 250 g (9 oz) pork neck
  • 2 duck leg quarters
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 14 pepperberries or dried juniper berries
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 330 ml of a good hoppy ale, such as Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, Wicked Elf Pale Ale or Arctic Fox American Pale Ale
  • 200 g (7 oz) duck fat


Preheat the oven to 130°C (250°F/Gas 1). Take the skin off the pork belly, then cut the pork belly and the pork neck into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes. Cut the duck legs away from the thighs, remove the thigh bones, then cut the thigh meat the same size as the pork. Cut the duck meat away from the leg, then cut that into 1 cm (1⁄2 inch) cubes also. Put all the meat in a large baking dish and season with the sea salt.

Place the pepperberries, peppercorns and cloves in a muslin (cheesecloth) bag, tie it up with kitchen string, then put the bag in the baking dish with the bay leaves, garlic cloves, bouquet garni, lemon thyme and rosemary.

Pour the beer over and give the meat a really good mix to combine all the ingredients and evenly mix the salt through.

Bake for about 3 hours, turning the meat once every hour.

Once the meat is fall-apart tender, remove the dish from the oven and allow the meat to cool in the dish for 30 minutes so that it can ‘rest’ and soak up some of the cooking juices. Discard the bay leaves, the stalks from the rosemary and lemon thyme, the bouquet garni and the muslin bag, and remove the skins from the garlic cloves.

Sit a colander in a large bowl and tip the meat into the colander. Allow the juices to drain into the bowl and leave the meat to cool. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, mash or shred it with your hands, a pair of forks or a potato masher until it is well shredded, mashing the roasted garlic cloves through. Return the meat to the bowl with the collected juices and mix well.

Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan over low heat and set aside to cool.

Distribute the meat evenly among six ramekins, pushing the meat down a little to set it with some firmness, then let it rest in the fridge to chill down for about 10 minutes. When cool, remove from the fridge and ladle some duck fat over each ramekin, covering the meat, then refrigerate once more. The duck fat will form a seal on top of the meat. The rillettes will keep in the fridge for several weeks, covered with plastic wrap.

Eat with crusty bread, a green salad, cornichons and walnuts.

John Hawkesby’s drink recommendation

Pinot Noir
Surveyor Thomson 2007

Brown Bros. Crouchen Riesling 2010

From Nine To Noon

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