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Rillettes and pates

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Was gifted with three large pig heads last week and cooked them down until the meat is "potroast tender" about 24 hours. Separated and chilled the meat, chilled the broth..took off the thick layer of fat and will use to fry chicken.....boiled down the jelled stock until now it's jelly.

So rillettes....chopped the pig meat fairly finely, then mixed into melted leaf lard adding black pepper, grey salt, allspice, whole bay leaves....next time will powder them, ground ginger, cloves...next time will leave out, thyme, granulated <penzey's> garlic, nutmeg and lots of orange zest.
Steralized various canning jars and filled with the rillettes, topped off with 1/2"+ of rendered liquid leaf lard and then topped with a canning jar lid....did not process any further but put them in the fridge. Should last for numerous weeks if not months.....

Watched a friend make pate with pork shoulder, chicken livers, fat back, spices, parsley thyme, garlic slivers, toasted hazelnuts, brandy. Only fatback on the bottom/actually top......6-1 ratio of fat to meat. Cooked to 130* about 1.5 hours at 350* in a water bath. Foil sealed pans, then weighted and left over night.
No eggs, no panade actually of any kind, no onion, it's a much lower ratio of fat to meat than I've been using.
Hmmmm.....
thus far, my country pate has pork shoulder, back fat and pork liver about equal amounts, eggs, white wine, brandy actually I use Grand Marnier alot,
onions, garlic, spices, herbs, covered wholey in sheets of back fat and baked to 145*, in a water bath.....parchment then foil.

Pork liver Pate is ground and sieved (ugh....) cream/flour/pork broth panade,
eggs, loads of orange....it brightens the mix.....again surrounded by sheets of back fat.

Chicken liver pate, butter, livers, orange zest, orange juice concentrate, onions, currants......most people (including alot of chefs) do not recognize it as chicken livers but think it's more extravagant....that's what a ton of butter will do for you.....creamy not baked.


So, my question is what spices do you put in rillettes or pates? Do your techniques or ingredients vary from those mentioned?
It's interesting to read that leaf lard is used for rillettes, instead of just the other backfat lard.
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 42
Shroom, with traditional pates I use dry basil, dry thyme,whole cloves, coriander seeds, nutmeg,mace, white peppercorns and bay leaf and powder them with a mortar and pestle. depending on the application I have added dried morels or porcini. For rillettes I use quatre epices.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
AHA.....For rillettes I use quatre epices....
so Grigson's Charcuterie book has quatre epices as: " Quatre-epices is a French blend of four spices-pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and either cinnamon or ginger- for use principally in charcuterie. It is not on general sale in England or America, but if you have not brought any back from France you can quite easily mix our own, and keep it in a well-lidded jar:
7 parts black pepper, 1 part each of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon.

Every big spice merchant has his own blend, so the proportions can vary thought pepper is always the main element. Larousse Gastronomique gives this: White Pepper, 125 grams; Cloves, 10 grams;ginger30 grams; nutmeg 35 grams

why a morter and pestle instead of a coffee grinder?
one of the chefs I've been testing pates with says to rehydrate the morels....I just threw them in the mix after crushing them.....thoughts?
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post #4 of 42
I don't have a coffee grinder :suprise: (kidding) My wife gave me the most beautiful mortar and pestle, I love to use it. also, no need to reconstitute the morels, better flavor dry IMHO
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
why do you think leaf lard rather than just lard was called for in rillettes?
have you ever heat packed them so that the rillettes would be shelf stable?
if so how? Certainly there is canned meat on the market so why not seal the rillettes since they are already cooked to tender, thus making room in the oh so small refrig space.
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post #6 of 42
I see no problem with using leaf lard, infact why not if you can get it or the kidneys and render your own. It is the purest isn't it?

When I make rillettes I either use pork butt or duck confit and use the pork fat or duck fat for initial proving of air, then topping with a layer to seal. 2/3 weeks in the fridge, a month on the outside.No, I have never heat packed rillettes, I find it unnecessary.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #7 of 42
Have you tried adding some black cardamon to your quarte espices?

It really plays well with the other spices and the smokyness works with the pork. Gives it that je ne se quias. You only need a little since it is very strong and too much tastes medicinal.
post #8 of 42
I have not used black cardamom to my traditional quarte epices, but I can see how a small amount could add a interesting flavor component. How have you used it?


BTW, it's always nice to discuss the classics. :chef:
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #9 of 42
Yes, I've used it. Otherwise I wouldn't have brought it up.

It's one of those flavor combos that that pop up in India and China. It's kinda like celery and carrots with out onions, if you catch my drift.
post #10 of 42
No, I understand that you have used it, but in what application? What type of pate or rillettes.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
black over green....
So what would your spice mix be tincook?

there were different variations of quatre epice between the books.

I asked a friend that worked with several French chefs prior to adding orange zest to the rillettes, thinking even the dried zest would shorten the life of the meat....it too adds a nice note. all the spice mixes are warm....
interesting, so would vanilla be too weird?

The reason I'm thinking about shelf stable is the quantity being made is so much and so rich that I'd like to use it rather than lose it.

Absolutely I have access to leaf lard....have about 20#+ rendered in the freezer.....thought it would only be used for pie crusts but am glad to find another place it's good for...but there's a texture difference between leaf lard and back fat...still working out why one is better than another for different applications...it's the why thing.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 42
Shroom, maybe because back fat is less saturated = softer, and the leaf lard is very saturated so it sets up very hard. Maybe there thinking a better top seal, which I would concur with. As to your thoughts on canning (so to speak) I can see it working quite well.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
foie and pate are canned....makes sense that rillettes could be too....it's just the how part that's got me stumped.
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
more saturated, so leaf lard is hard white and has alot of fiber running through it, back fat appears more liquidy when rendered. Don't remember college bio-chem getting into fat details, but that was so long ago and so far away.......
Leaf lard does not carry piggy flavor, so it appeared to be a better match with sweet pie crusts....but as rillettes are meat, in this case pork heads what would it matter which fat is used to preserve it?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 42
There is no reason you should not use belly or back lard, great flavor.I don't see any specific reason to use leaf lard. Have you ever rendered lardo to use in this type of medium?
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 
I thought lardo was preserved back fat ala Italian. Nope not made it yet....
For the past 4+ months I've been butchering pigs and using all the pig...well sometimes the skin gets pitched and I'm still working out what the heck to do with the ear....supposedly there are ways to cook/bread/fry but usually I leave them on the heads while they boil away for pate de tete or rillettes or cabeza tacos.

Lots of fat on these piggies CC.....Kuan posted one of the pics of the last 400# tammworth with the exceptional backfat on the photo site.

Got loads of feet/shanks too....wanna make zamponis.
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post #17 of 42
I've used it in the basic pork rillets. Used it in a duck terrine for a holiday party a couple years ago. Gratin-style farce (I think we through some gran marnier in with the degalze along with the madiera etc) with the legs and thighs (seared), pork butt, and the fat clumps from the duck. Duck breast inlay. I think it also had dried cherries or cranberries and pistachios.

I also use it northern european and german style meatballs and in meatloaf.

I don't make a lot of pate since I've left culinary. Unless you count meatloaf.


Shroom, I use something like this:

8 parts black pepper, 1 part each of mace, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, 1/2 part each black cardamon, ginger (add fresh to the farce if I don't have dried powder).

In a pinch, I have used garam masala, but the anise flavor throw me off a little.

Black vs Green: black almost always wins out for this kind of thing. I like how the green works with orange zest, but I've only done it with sweets.
post #18 of 42
Zampone! Hurray!

When ever I hear that I think of Chris Rock's "athelete pig's foot bit"

If I ever make it to Germany, I'm going for the roasted pig shank/trotter.

I heard of the ear being added to sauasage after having been boiled. Wonder if it work ala fried pork rind.
post #19 of 42
Shroom,

I have an old Bocuse book from the mid 70's, he in-fact tells you to heat them in a bain marie for 25 minuets for extended shelf life (rillettes)
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 
nope meatloaf doesn't count because it's not weighed down, and normally pate does not have tomato base sauce slathered all over the top.....last time I checked meatloaf is not set in a water bath either. Do you put liver in your meatloaf.....or celery/peppers in your pate?

Got a windfall of dehydrated tart cherries and have been serving them with the pates/rillettes.....yummmmy! coarse mustard, funky pickled vegs....add some cheeses, crackers/breads and dinner does not get any better than that.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
The French split the foot/shank and slather mustard and bread crumbs on and bake.
The Italians, take the bones out of the fresh leg/foot and stuff with farce the ones I've seen have pistachios....which do not interest me, they just get mushy....but sew them shut....went and got some curved needles and 100% cotton thread from the sewing shop (almost made the semstress sick, well she asked......;)) Now supposedly it's tough boning out the foot without cutting through the skin. My buddy at An American Place cooks his feet then bones and stuffs them.

Got tons of bellies in the freezer too....it's really surprising to see how small the tenderloins are on these pigs....makes you wonder how big the pigs are when the tenders in the stores are .75-1.25 #.

Still working on the rib thing, right now I'm stripping out the meat and just leaving the spine and ribs attached....looks very Fred Flinstone when we have BBQ ribs.
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post #22 of 42
I'd say meatloaf is a pate. It's not weighted because it's served hot. All the other elements match that of a cold pate; ingredients and sauce are a matter of personal preference.

When I feel like setting the front managers up for a letdown, I like to tell them the special is pate de campagne with sauce espagnole.
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #23 of 42
Thread Starter 
would that be served with pomme de terre and haricot verte?

....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #24 of 42
But of course.

Any leftovers are changed into a pate en croute for a lunch special the next day.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #25 of 42
Thread Starter 
um my favorite with aioli and extra red sauce.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 
we have some exceptional German butchers in STL....G&W is the first that comes to mind. Smoked Liverwurst that is the "gold standard"....this stuff is incredible, until a few weeks ago they would sell it in stomach pouches tied off with string. Their head cheese also is amazing....various wursts....

But I've never seen stuffed foot in the shop....what part of Germany and what kind of farce is in a German foot? spicing?

That's what info I'd love to know....how different countries make their pates/farce/sausages....spicing, panades, how they cook them....waterbath/casing/weighed.......various grinds.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #27 of 42
That's tomato aspic you put on top right?
post #28 of 42
Good god reading this thread is like reading porn to me. I'm over here panting with lust and envy and add a good measure of greed too.

I just keep saying to myself..."You will not go back into the business." and repeating like a mantra.

I also keep making up these scenarios of having a pork orgy at my place and inviting 12 of my best friends to come over and break down a whole hog with me and make sausage and pates etc with me! Sigh. Not gonna happen. I don't have 12 friends here in Houston that are as obsessed about cooking as I am...Maybe I need a 12 step program?
post #29 of 42
Thread Starter 
nah, just come visit me in STL.....we'll spend a day breaking down a pig and cooking him up. Guess it's just the way I learn.....pornography at it's best, there is no substitute for self directed, self-motivated learning....unless it's with others.....guess that would be the orgy part.
Um....this would be the cult part of cooking for a living?

Ok...you guys are going to get a kick out of this, one of my dear friend's quit her job and moved to London to go to the Cordon Bleu Pastry Program (she was a food writer/tech writer).....this was her last e-mail....titled "ST. John's"

well i ate there. but at their sister restaurant, st johns bread and wine.

was superb. honestly. brilliant. i had a salad with little gem lettuce, spring onions, mint and lemon oil, incredible roasted shallots with mint and mustard and a creamy goat's curd that was a bit like fresh ricotta. incredible. and a beautiful dish of zucchini and broad beans in a luscious butter, parsley and mustard vinaigrette slow cooked. divine! tom had jellied pig's head and quail with aioli. barf.

he almost ordered the crispy pig's cheek but they sold out. then he talked about the ox heart and just by the look on my face decided not to order that.
i think he's your man


What can I say, so many of my food writing friends are totally grossed out when i talk about breaking down pigs or using bits and pieces or making crusts out of leaf lard, for heaven's sake Julie rillettes?.....so glad you guys are here.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #30 of 42
German stuffed foot....I don't think they stuff it. I think its just roasted on the bone. I can't seem to find it on the internets. Maybe it's in the Time-Life book... I hope its not just a product of my over-porked imagination.
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