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Rillettes - help!

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Half a pork shoulder -> rillettes   This time, I included ALL fat,   After 2 hours at 250F   After 3 1/2 hours, mashed with a fork, juices and fat returned   Two larger for the freeze

More rillettes, or as Orik would say, aka carnitas aka pork confit Or as husband would say, instant lunch and d'ouvre    

Chaude Poches!

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Ori, will you point me to your recipe that requires 10 hours?    The majority that i have found/combined/used find cooking complete by 4.    i do see that slow-cooker recipes suggest longer, but not the classic or traditional process.   Who is your guru?

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The rillettes de mans AOC guide specifies an initial gentle caramelization phase that lasts 45 minutes to 3 hours until the meat reaches 95 c, then a cooling phase that lasts until the meat reaches 75 c, and finally a slow cooking phase at around 75 c that lasts at least 5 hours, although serious producers will go longer. It further recognizes that nitrite salt is a traditional ingredient on top of salt and pepper. 

Marie Claire also recommends 10 hours cooking 😁

But with no guru, I try to understand the reasoning - flavor, preservation, economics, etc. behind professional traditional recipes so that I can make my own, usually with access to different ingredients. e.g. if I make coppa from iberico de bellota then I can't just follow popular books for how much weight it should lose, because fat doesn't lose weight while drying, so I need to figure out how much dehydration is expected from the muscle.

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Thanks for this.    i will give it a try, or at least extend the cooking time.     What we are enjoying is very close to the Prunier we buy in France.    Not sure how we'd improve flavor or texture..    But I'm always willing to up the game.

ETA. Ori, I'm not finding this AOC procedure.    Can you give me a link so I can make sure I'm down the right path?    Thanks.

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I probably didn't help find it because it's an IGP and not AOC. 


Similarly, the industrious people of Tours make:


Interestingly if you look at popular carnitas recipes from US sources (nytimes, bayless, etc.) you'll find the same sort of changes - cook in water (haha) or vegetable oil, or roast, or at least replace the second frying with crisping in the grill, leave out the orange, etc. vs the original notion that - like rillettes - carnitas are pork cooked in its own fat with a two step process - low for cooking, high for browning / crisping. I guess people just don't typically have a couple of huge pots of  hot lard in their kitchens. 🐖 

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Thanks for these comprehensive prescriptions.    We should note that governmental requirements usually have little similarity to Grand-mere's or even Michelin recipes and processes.   Even so, there seems to be  some variation or leeway in cooking duration, vis a vis, the Tours document notes considerable flexibility.


But more apropos is the difference between commercial and home cooking.    Here, from Stephane Reynaud's comprehensive and reliable Cochon et Fils



Suggests 3 to 4 hours.    The range of cooking times I found is 3 to 5 hours.    I think I'll stick to this range as it results in excellent and quintessential rillettes albeit not with Sarthe lineage.  

Funny that you mention carnitas.    Further bastardizing our rillettes, we take a healthy splat and crisp it up in a small frying pan for almost instant and very delicious carnitas tacos.    The subtle seasoning in rillettes make it a wonderfully adaptable ingredient.     Times when you need a fast hit of unsmoked porkiness.

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Pretty standard for what you'll get in a French village bar that sells booze, lotto tickets and "food" that = prepackaged "pop-tart" style snacks.   Pretty much your only option if you find yourself in the boonies on a Monday afternoon when all other commerce is shut down.   

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There are many tacos places in Paris too where they're by no means prepackaged (of course confusingly there are actual taco places), some offering quite a variety of fillings. There was one I walked by in Belleville that had merguez, tuna, beef stew, etc. (but not rillettes 😄) I think I first saw them about 10 years ago but I'm not sure if they've always been around and I just didn't notice. I think at least some are national or regional chains. 


How none of them is called Les Tacos Belles is a mystery.

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