31 Mar2011

I have wanted to make rillettes from our 3-4 hour slow-cooked pork belly adobo simmered in a palayok over a wood fire for a while now. Today, I am kicking myself wondering why I didn’t actually do this sooner… It turned out fantastic! A rillettes is usually a crock of shredded pork (or duck, goose, etc. that has first been cooked in fat until blissfully tender) marinated and stored in its juices and fat. It’s a bit like pate, but more chunky, read “rustic”. Usually served with slices of bread or crisped toasts, rillettes are traditionally accompanied by small pickles or cornichons and sometimes grainy or smooth mustard. It might seem a bit bizarre to apply the typically french technique to our own favorite adobo, but stick with me for a few more minutes…

If you have read my earlier posts on pork belly slow-cooked in a palayok, you would understand that this is essentially a form of pork confit that transforms the meat into a melt-in-your mouth consistency. My version has no soy sauce and since it cooks for hours, also not much of an acidic hit at all. Just intense pork flavor, the richness of the naturally rendered fat, and salt. We had a medium sized jar of adobo left in the fridge, and I decided to heat up the contents and shred the meat to make some rillettes.

All you have to do is shred the tender pork with two forks (or by hand) and remove any gristle or tendons or large blobs of fat and pack the shredded pork into a small dish. Add some of the cooking juices to the meat and cover with lard or oil that was rendered while the adobo was cooked. I placed a fresh bay leaf on top for looks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. The lard will seal in the meat and juices.

The batch of adobo that I used was less salty than usual, but it was redolent with slow cooked flavor. Because it had already been in the fridge for a few weeks, there was no need to age the rillettes for more than a few hours in the fridge. Otherwise, if starting with freshly cooked adobo, I suggest you age the finished rillettes for at least 2-3 days before serving it.

Bring the rillettes to room temperature and served with melba toasts or slices of fresh baguettes or french bread. The rillettes were still a bit cold in some of the photos above, and we were a bit hungry and impatient, so we heated up some of the toasts in a hot oven and as you spread the pork and lard, it warmed up to room temperature quickly. I sliced up some fresh homemade dill pickles and laid them on top of the pork.

Since the pork wasn’t as salty as it normally is or should be, Mrs. MM thought to sprinkle some Maldon sea salt flakes on top. This was a mouthfull of porky love. Just a few flakes of Maldon brought out the essence of the slow cooked pork. The whole wheat melba toasts were a crunchy foil to the meat and fat. So darned good and so easy to make once you have the slow-cooked pork adobo. This is definitely going in the line up of appetizers many months from now for the holiday season 2011, quite chi-chi, but oh so local. I think it will surprise many a palate used to more high brow fare. :)

Note: If you have sharp eyes and are wondering why the cover of the pig dish seems to be floating above the solidified lard, it is. I put a bit too much meat and lard in the container, so when it hardened up, I couldn’t quite put the piggy cover on snugly. :)



  1. Isa Garchitorena says:

    Sometimes when I make a roast , I save the drippings and cool it so the white fat floats to the top and underneath is a full flavored jelly. I have been seen shmearing that jelly on my toast for breakfast. Mmmmm.

    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:10 am


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  3. fried-neurons says:

    That is a fantastic idea! I am definitely going to try that sometime. I just have to find enough time away from work to properly slow-cook adobo…

    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:36 am

  4. Footloose says:

    There is a village close to Le Mans (of automobile racing fame) called Mamer where they hold a rillettes competition a bit earlier around this time of the year. It seems typically French for a common homey treat such as this take on allure and mystic by simply getting its own proper tag. But what’s in a name, I can delight in spreadable flaked adobo in its own cooking juice and fat any old time.

    I recently saw a chopping board with a graphic grid design on it to guide those so inclined to accurately slice and dice vegetables as referred to in French cuisine: allumette, batonette or julienne and brunoise, dés, macedoine or parmentier. So intimidating.

    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:38 am

  5. millet says:

    that crock had been waiting for the right contents! and yes, i wondered why the piggy seemed to float!

    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:42 am

  6. KF Alma says:

    This is great! I couple years back Marvin, From Burntlumpia, made Duck Adobo Confit. This created the same Adobo cravings in me. Must try this sometime.

    here’s the link for Adobo Confit


    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:46 am

  7. linda says:

    This could be the best and tastiest rillette ever made by anyone and I’m glad you started this one MM!

    Gayahin ko nga! Have a good day,mate!

    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:50 am

  8. linda says:

    could easily be the best and tastiest pala………

    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:54 am

  9. andrea says:

    another must try! thank you Mr. MM!

    Mar 31, 2011 | 7:58 am

  10. aleeh co says:

    Excited about this one… have not perfected yet the organic liver pate =( this one looks easier to prepare =D

    Mar 31, 2011 | 8:19 am

  11. monique ignacio says:

    Perfect timing as I have all this leftover adobo that’s been in the fridge for 5 days now. Would it be the same if i reduce some of the lard? I am imagining the lard coagulating in my veins… :-)

    Mar 31, 2011 | 8:41 am

  12. Arnaldo says:

    i tried cooking the legendary slow cooked white adobo in palayok using woodfire and me myself get confused if i put some soy sauce in it….lol..but actually..not..the taste still the same its still like ..basta masarap……

    Mar 31, 2011 | 9:14 am

  13. Connie C says:

    “Rustic” is what you call pork legs/knuckles slowly and gently cooked as “humba” in a palayok, pork juices settling in the bottom of pot that eventually gelatinizes when kept in the fridge, rendered fat on top solidifying into a confit effect as the porky goodness ages for a couple of weeks awaiting being served at the holiday table……conjures image of holiday season and fiesta time in years gone by , mom warning us kids not to disturb the pot when peeking at the fridge for holiday eats as fiesta in town is still to come.

    Mar 31, 2011 | 11:09 am

  14. Paolo says:

    I take it you’re on “diet leave”? :D

    Mar 31, 2011 | 11:09 am

  15. Marketman says:

    Paolo, nope. Just had two melba toasts with some rillettes and salt. Bad, but not disastrous… :)

    Mar 31, 2011 | 1:03 pm

  16. daryl says:

    did someone buy a new camera?

    Mar 31, 2011 | 2:55 pm

  17. jakbkk says:

    nakakabata!!! hehehehe

    Mar 31, 2011 | 3:27 pm

  18. lee says:

    For a rustic feel the bread should not be sliced but torn apart by hungry hands. namit. Gutom na naman ako.

    Mar 31, 2011 | 4:19 pm

  19. kim e says:

    my grandma who collects anything with pigs on it, would love that container :)

    Mar 31, 2011 | 4:42 pm

  20. Sarah says:

    My dad always said adobo tastes better the older it gets. What a perfect use for “old” adobo :D

    Mar 31, 2011 | 5:00 pm

  21. joey says:

    Love the pate crock! :) I can definitely see how adobo would lend itself beautifully to rilletes…especially since it already has some awesome flavor! I will try this!

    Mar 31, 2011 | 5:36 pm

  22. ka_fredo says:

    This is a great substitute to the duck rilettes mom brings home for pasalubong. I think preserving meats in oil is not new in the PH. My elders used to store fried pork in its own lard when they travelled to Manila.

    Mar 31, 2011 | 5:39 pm

  23. joyce says:

    whoaa, delicious rejig of a french technique. cute container!

    Mar 31, 2011 | 6:47 pm

  24. EbbaBlue says:

    Ayy, may tawag pala dito sa ginawa noon. Dahil sa time constraints, I cooked my adobo, with no soysauce (dahil naubusan), in a crockpot, then pag-uwi ko, hindi ko rin nakain so I put the whole thing in ref. 2-days later, hinimay ko to put in Puto-pao, pero hindi rin natuloy (dahil sa lack of ingredients), so balik ref for 1 more day.. and ng wala akong ma-breakfast the following morning, with toasted bread, I just smeared it madalian (again because of time), and wow!! a dish..and I have been eating cold adobo this way for breakfast. Yung natirang rendered fat, my aunts in Quezon Province use it to sawsaw pinangat na isda sa kalamias. I used to smear my fried galunggong in it. Thanks again for this post.

    Mar 31, 2011 | 8:06 pm

  25. sophie says:

    “If you have sharp eyes and are wondering why the cover of the pig dish seems to be floating above the solidified lard, it is. I put a bit too much meat and lard in the container, so when it hardened up, I couldn’t quite put the piggy cover on snugly. :)”

    hahaha, you make me laugh and went back to the top photo… i was thinking earlier that it’s a design, lol!… i will surely try this one and look for a palayok…that will be a staple in my kitchen utensils/pots (or whatsoever i should call it, with just a few i own,:D)

    Mar 31, 2011 | 10:23 pm

  26. MELGIE says:

    Kumusta po. I have discovered your blog for the last few months I must admit na addict din ako, should I say naging bisyo na rin. ha..ha . I always have a dream kasi na umuwi sa atin for good like you . I find your blog informative and funny on how you go on your life there. BTW I grew up in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro ,a town near Puerto Galera at madalas akong makatikim ng ” Blonde Adobo ” from relatives . As I was reading your post ,timing naman na meron akong Adobo Rillettes .( Left over Adobo I have cooked in a slow cooker last Tuesday) . Of course ginaya kita and I used that on top sa bread .WoW !!! ang sarap!!!Thank you for sharing this . I never though I could eat adobo in this way .

    Mar 31, 2011 | 11:30 pm

  27. tonceq says:

    The piggy is so cute! xp Definitely like a confit but this apparantly sounds easier than a duck confit! (messed that one up really bad and duck meat does not come cheap!) I love the concept of using local dishes and then preparing them ala international! Another great idea MM! (I bet it tastes good too!) :)

    Mar 31, 2011 | 11:48 pm

  28. josephine says:

    You could sell that here in France. Would put some of the local versions to shame. I must make some.

    Apr 1, 2011 | 2:55 am

  29. Angela says:

    I made this several months ago and ate it with toasted pan de sal for merienda (minus the cornichon). The pork adobo had been hanging out in the fridge for 2 days prior and I was too lazy to cook rice. When I told my mom that it was similar in preparation to confit, she laughed and said there was no need to be a food snob when eating local food. Nevertheless, it was a great merienda.

    Apr 1, 2011 | 3:09 pm

  30. Mila says:

    If you can sell the rillettes in an adorable piggy ceramic plate, then that would be a great addition to your new resto.

    Apr 1, 2011 | 5:03 pm

  31. Scramoodles says:

    Kpag nilagay ko pala ang mamantika kong adobo, rillete na pla tawag dun ;)

    Apr 1, 2011 | 11:19 pm

  32. kaye says:

    i like the piggy dish.. am always wondering how big your kitchen is to be able to store a lot of beautiful serving dishes which am sure most would be family heirlooms and purchase from travels.. i’ve been doing this to leftover adobo, either i shred and just keep in a container for breakfast paired with bread or shredded adobo pork fried til crunchy to make adobo floss… i didn’t know the former is called rillette.. so chi chi.. hehehe…

    Apr 2, 2011 | 7:41 am

  33. mel ojeda says:

    mm, cute sya.

    Apr 2, 2011 | 6:16 pm

  34. Betchay says:

    Yikes!My son and hubby will freak out when they see the fat on top! Ha!ha!ha! But I’m sure that rillettes is very flavorful! Thanks for adding the new word to my vocabulary!

    Apr 3, 2011 | 8:04 am

  35. Ana says:

    I’ve just had my first taste of pork rillettes in the Loire Valley and just had to google to see if you’ve got a simpler recipe and I was right. I will try this when I finish the couple of big tubs I brought back with me. I think i could eat the rillettes in the tub like ice cream, but I don’t really want to induce a heart attack!

    Aug 3, 2011 | 7:07 pm


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