Three meat rabbits, a pork trotter and tail, some rabbit bone broth and time.
This simple alchemy of wonderful ingredients will slowly simmer away for hours until it’s soft enough for me to shred with my fingers and mix with duck fat and leaf lard, a few fresh herbs, and some good salt. I will then pack it all in jars, top with delectable, gelatinous broth, and freeze.
Rabbit rillettes. It’s a staple around here. All the rillettes, all the pâté, all the potted meats and terrines.
The thing is, like seasonality of food, there’s a seasonality to cooking. Nobody should be making headcheese in the heat of the summer.
I prefer to make my potted meats and terrines in the winter when the wood stove is chugging anyway and extra heat is a warm reprieve from the bitter cold saturating our bones.
Alas, my daughter raided my frozen rillettes rations on her recent visit. If I can’t generously give away the delectables of our labour to those I love, I hardly see a reason for any of it. So, I find myself making a batch in not-exactly the right season, but it’s cool enough to be acceptable.
These foods are our convenience foods, our last minute grab and go. They are the special, deeply nourishing foods that take time to make, but buy you convenience later, without a trade off in health.
Old French cookbooks are a gem for learning the techniques yourself. Once you get that under your belt, you can do things anyway you want, adding flavours and textures according to your tastes. You can find my very easy pâté and other potted meat and terrine making processes here