Pig cheeks (or Bath Chaps) are lovely. Rillettes is lovely. Making it is easy. You’ll need:
- A pair of pig-cheeks (with the fat on - there should be a lot under the skin)
- Coarse-ground black pepper
- A sprig of fresh thyme
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- Boil some salted water in a large pan. Take if off the heat. Drop in the pig-cheeks for 10 minutes.
- Take out the cheeks, and pat dry with kitchen towels.
- Liberally salt the meat, then place on a roasting-dish on top of the crushed garlic and thyme.
- Place into a pre-heated oven at 60C, and leave for 5 hours, checking occasionally to make sure that the meat doesn’t dry out.
- Take the cheeks out of the pan (which should have a fair bit of fat in). Separate the meat from the skin and greaves. Put the meat into a mixing-bowl - it should be super tender, and shred easily with a fork. Once shredded, pour in the liquid fat (leave a bit - you’ll need it later) and stir - season with black pepper. You should end up with a delicious-smelling meaty paste.
- Pack the paste into a preserving-jar, then pour the remaining fat on top. Refrigerate. This will keep (unopened) for a few weeks, but once opened, needs to be consumed.
- You can grill the remaining skin and greaves to make crackling, if you’re like me.
Eat with fresh, crusty bread and cornichons.