Here are some of the “after” shots of the rillettes. I got two jars’ worth out of the belly in the previous post. It doesn’t seem like a lot until you realize that because it’s so utterly rich, you only eat a little bit at a time – like, one big spoonful in a sitting.
For something this good, generic store-bought bread, even split top buttered whole wheat, wouldn’t do. So, I made myself wait a couple of days for the rillettes to mature by making baguettes. It wasn’t a bad freshman attempt, either – the loaves came out looking (more or less) like baguettes, with larger holes in the crumb than the sandwich bread I make, although it still could be better. The recipe is from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, but in a nutshell it’s a basic white dough except you make half of it the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight to develop flavor, then mix in with the remainder of the dough on baking day.
There was a third, but it was half-gone for the rillettes by the time I took this picture. In the background is all my coffee gear. It’s in the corner of the counter. (Get it? Coffee? in the Corner? … <crickets chirping>)
And how was the flavor? I’ve gotten more than a few “Wow”s, and even some “Oh my God”s when I’ve shared the rillettes. It’s just that powerful. It’s rich, slightly sweet, ancient comfort food. It’s not hard to make – at all – but does need you to be home for an afternoon. That’s not so hard. And it’s the meat of kings! (I am not responsible for any damage you do trying to get that song out of your heads. Requires Flash.)