23 November 2009

pork rillettes ... the beginning

And it begins... It's time to start the 2 day process of making Jaques Pepin's Pork Rillettes, a delicious spread that my colleague jtw first introduced to me (and charceuterie. gasp, i know) in 2006. John's recipe is slightly different than Pepin's but tried and true, so while paying homage to the master chef (Pepin), I'm going to follow jtw's.

First things first, acquire a boatload of pork belly (4 lbs for jtw's recipe). Done (and oh what a marvelous sight it is. Gush gush gush).

Then chop into 2" cubes, and toss into a pot or Dutch oven with half a head of garlic, and enough water to cover the meat by about 1-2". Add a few TB of salt, but not too much, and a few shakes of pepper. You'll season this later. Now, put on a very, very, low simmer and cook for 6-8 hours until fat has rendered. There may be some skimming involved if you'd care to, but it's not vitally important (so says jtw).

Once the fat, refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

And that, my friends, is what I'm waiting for currently. Still with 2 hours to go of simmering, I'll be back tomorrow with more on Operation Pork Rillettes.

Do stay tuned. I highly recommend it. ;)

22 November 2009

Coming soon ...

Look at that beauty. I mean really now, 4.4 lbs of pork belly deliciousness, just calling out "rilletes! rilletes!" Or just calling out to me. Ya never know. Let me dream.

OK, maybe not, and maybe just maybe I should be focusing on buying my turkey for Thanksgiving (yes, I'm hosting/cooking this year), but really, let's just pause for a moment to appreciate the finer things in life.

Like this.

Take a moment with me now.

Oooo and ahhh. Get giddy (I sure am). Imagine the creaminess of the pork rillettes on fresh honeydew. Or the tang when served with reduced balsamic and whole grain mustard. Forget about the turkey and stuffing for a moment and just imagine with me.

Pork belly is one of the things in life that make me melt. Boys, take notes. This here is one of the few things that if done properly can woo me. Take that as a freebie. Who needs anything else, really?

THIS, my friends, is the life. Stay tuned for Operation Pork Rillette (ala Jacques Pepin, as modified by Wilbanks).

02 November 2009

Halloween, continued

As promised, costume #2 (less food related) ... a spelling bee. Yup, I went there.

Here's to November!