Friday, December 4, 2009


Rillons (pronounced ree-yons) are a delicious French snack of pork belly that has been slow cooked in rendered fat and herbs until tender. It is then put in to jars with the fat and sealed. Done correctly the rillons will keep for months in a cool dark place. Rillons are a rustic, peasant recipe for preserving meat, which was essential before people had freezers. The French eat them cold with bread but I ate them still warm from the oven dipped in the pan juices. They're really tasty and very simple to make.


500g of pork belly
3 tablespoons of lard
3 cloves of garlic, smashed, skin on
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
sea salt and pepper
1/3 cup of water
red wine


Preheat oven to 200°.
Cut the pork belly into large chunks leaving the skin on. Heat the lard in a frying pan, dip the skin of the pork belly in salt and place in the pan skin side down. Cook on a high heat on all sides until well browned. Place the pork in an oven proof dish and add the garlic, thyme, bayleaf, salt and pepper, a good splash of wine, water and the pan juices.
Cook in the oven for half an hour checking that it doesnt dry out or stick to the dish. Turn the oven down to 160° and cook for a further 1 1/2 hours.

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