closeup of pork rilletes on toasted baguette slices, garnished with fresh thyme

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Why I love this rillettes recipe

When we lived in France, I tried to stay open minded to things like foie gras and pâté, but it was just never my thing. Eventually, I discovered rillettes, and I fell in love with them.

You can find them at every market and grocery store, and paired with a simple baguette, rillettes quickly became my favorite French snack.

This year, I thought that I’d add rillettes to my holiday spread for Christmas Eve, along with some vegan wine and our favorite peel and eat shrimp.

So what exactly are pork rillettes?

Rillettes are a savory meat spread originating in the Loire region of France as a method of preserving meat. They’re made by braising a fatty cut of pork, typically pork shoulder with extra pork fat, with white wine, garlic and spices like clove, allspice and bay leaf.

Once they’re cooked, the meat is shredded and emulsified with the cooked fat creating a beautifully textured spread.

Since I can’t find them around here, I decided to make them myself. I left out the extra fat, and opted for a fattier pork shoulder, since the extra fat is usually just used to create a seal when preserving the rillettes.

French apero table with rillettes, olives, cornichons, flowers and crudites, with a cocktail

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

pork rillettes on a platter with crostini

How to make pork rillettes

Cut and season the meat. Start by cubing the pork shoulder into 1.5-2-inch pieces. Liberally season the meat with salt.

Braise the pork. Place the pork pieces into an baking dish and add the remaining ingredients. Cover the dish and bake for about 3 hours at 300˚F, or until the fat has completely rendered and the meat easily shreds.

rillettes in a ramekin with cornichons an crostini on a plate surrounded by crudité

Let it cool. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool. Remove the bay leaves, cloves, and peppercorns.

Shred the meat. Using an electric mixer with a paddle or beater attachment, mix the meat and fat together until no large pieces remain. This process will naturally shred the meat and emulsify the fat.

Serve or store. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste (if needed), and transfer to ramekins or air tight containers. Serve immediately or store for later.

close up of a ramekin of pork rillettes

FAQs and tips for making the best rillettes

What is the difference between pate and rillette?

While bother pate and rillettes are meat based spreads, pate is much smoother because it’s blended after cooking. Rillettes are made in a similar way, but instead of blending the meat is kept whole and emulsified with the fat, giving it a meatier, thicker texture.

How do you eat rillettes?

Rillettes are best served on sliced baguette. I like to toast my baguette slices before serving, but that isn’t necessary. They also pair really nicely with a relish tray and other hors d’oeuvres.

How long will rillettes keep?

This recipe will last for about 5 days in the fridge. Store them in an airtight container or a cover the ramekins with plastic wrap.

Can you freeze rillettes?

Yes. This recipe will keep nicely in the freezer for up to 6 months if they’re stored in an airtight container.

dairy free appetizer spread with rillettes, crudites and olives

More dairy free appetizer recipes:

More pork recipes you’ll love:

french appetizer spread on a marble table

Pork Rillettes

Pork rillettes are a savory meat spread originating in the Loire region of France as a method of preserving meat. This simple French recipe is slowly braised in the oven with white wine, garlic and spices. They’re a great alternative to pâté and they’re a delicious addition to any relish tray or charcuterie board.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 5 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 heaping teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Cut pork into chunks, about 1.5 – 2 inches in size. Add the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add pork to the bowl and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and allow it to marinate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 300˚F. Transfer the pork and it’s marinade to a covered baking dish and bake for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool. Remove the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. Continue to cool until the fat starts to solidify.
  4. Transfer the cooked pork to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix at a medium speed until the fat emulsifies and there are no large pieces of meat.
  5. Transfer to ramekins for serving or air tight containers for storing.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 163
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 161.2 mg
  • Fat: 12.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 11.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 48.3 mg

Keywords: dairy free, egg free, pork, appetizer, dip, spread, gluten free

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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