Rillettes Maison Recipe

Rillettes, pronounced, “Ree-ette” is a cooked meat spread that is typically slathered on top of a delicious slice of French baguette or bread. They are seriously one of my huge weaknesses. When I go to France I can’t wait to go to the grocery store or the butcher and get my Frenchy little hands on some!

In America, I am usually forced to make my own rillette spread, which is well worth the work. At first, Americans typically think it’s a little weird but if you give it a chance I guarantee you will become addicted. Rillettes are long, slow-cooked meats, usually cooked in their own fat, and a few herbs and seasoning. The spread is kind of like pulled pork with a softer flavor and shredded into tiny pieces and eaten cold. They are so yummy.

For a quick, easy appetizer, spread rillettes on toasted baguette, sprinkle lightly with freshly cracked black pepper and salt. (Here’s a link to my French bread recipe, it’s the perfect bread to eat with rillettes.


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, lard, or duck fat
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 large shallots, very roughly chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, split in half


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. In a large ovenproof baking dish, mix all the ingredients.
  3. Tightly cover the dish with foil or a well-fitting lid, and cook in the center of the oven it for 3 hours, until the meat is falling apart.  It is important to keep checking the dish to make sure the meat is not drying out as it cooks and add more water if needed.
  4. Once cooked, remove the dish from the heat, leave the foil or lid in place and allow the meat to cool in the dish for 30 to 45 minutes until it is warm.
  5. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaf and any little pieces of meat which may have dried too far.
  6. Shred and stir the meat and fat with a large fork until it resembles a chunky, creamy spread, if correctly cooked this will be very easy to do.
  7. Place the rillettes in a serving pot, level with the back of a spoon and pour any remaining fat in the cooking dish over the surface which helps to keep the rillettes moist.
  8. Chill them for at least 24 hours before serving. The pâté will keep for several days untouched, once you have started eating use within 72 hours.

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