hams and sausages is not for most home cooks, but this
spiced pork cicciolli terrine can be made in a few
charcuterie is all the rage among restaurant chefs, but with
the exception of a few hardy adventurers, the urge to cure
hams and sausages hasnít yet quite caught on with home
understandable. Itís not something you can just up and
decide you want to try. Thereís what an economist would
call a high barrier to entry ó you need to have a
temperature- and humidity-controlled space to hang the meat,
special equipment and ingredients, and the patience to wait
weeks and even months before you can taste it.
the curious cook does have alternatives. Terrines and
rillettes can be made in a few hours with what you already
have on hand or can find at your corner grocery. And though
they do improve after a day or two of sitting, they really
only need an overnight rest before theyíre ready to eat.
seemingly endless rounds of holiday entertaining coming up,
wouldnít it be reassuring to have a big slab of something
wonderful you could slice off as the situation arises?
the simplest of these to make is basic pork rillettes, a
kind of potted meat preserved in its own fat. Itís hard to
improve on the recipe Elizabeth David published more than 50
years ago: Cube a couple of pounds of pork belly and cook it
with garlic and spices low and slow until the meat is so
tender you can smash it between your fingers. Strain the
meat from the fat, keeping the fat. Shred the meat into fine
bits, pack it into earthenware pots and pour the fat over
top. Thatís it.
are all kinds of twists you can play on this basic
technique, varying the flavorings. Paging through "In
the Charcuterie," the gorgeous new butchering book by
Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller of San Franciscoís
Fatted Calf, I spied a recipe for ciccioli, a kind of spicy
rillettes, flavored with lots of garlic and dried chile
it had its own barrier to entry: 12 cups of good-quality
lard, a bit of a trick to find unless you happen to work at
remembered a recipe from "Cooking by Hand," the
lyrical cookbook by Paul Bertolli, the former Chez Panisse
and Olivetto chef and current owner of FraíMani
charcuterie. He made a very subtle ciccioli ó no chile,
lots of herbs ó and instead of binding it with fat, he
used a jellied pork stock.
the two ideas made what I guess you could call a spiced
terrine. Itís actually not unlike a headcheese, except itís
made from pork butt, which poses obvious difficulties in
adapting that name.
mind what you call it, itís delicious. With the pork
stock, the flavors come through much more clearly, and I
didnít even miss that added richness you would get from
all of that good pork fat (I know, I canít believe I just
typed those words either, but itís the truth).
more, it took just an afternoon to make a big batch. Simmer
trimmings and a pigís foot for a couple of hours, then use
that strained stock to simmer the pork and spices.
and shred the meat, beat in the cooled stock a bit at a
time. The meat will gradually absorb the liquid. When youíve
got a moist, shaggy mass, pour it into a loaf pan, weight it
and refrigerate overnight. The next day you can unmold it
and serve it in nice clean slices. (You can also simply pack
it into crocks.)
without the fat, itís still pretty luxurious stuff,
delicious spread on grilled bread or even served with just a
tart green salad as a light dinner. In fact, it likes tart
flavors of all kinds: Cornichons, pickled red onions or
shallots would also be great accompaniments.
be sure to make enough, so youíll always have something
you can pull out of the fridge when last-minute guests drop
hours, plus chilling time to set the spiced pork. Makes 3 ľ
pounds, about 26 servings
4 ĺ pounds pork butt or shoulder, with rind and bone
tablespoons salt, more to taste
tablespoon dried red pepper flakes
teaspoons fennel seeds
ground black pepper
cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
away the bones and big pieces of rind from the pork and set
aside, leaving the rind in pieces as large as possible. The
bones will be used for stock (recipe below); the rind will
be cooked with the meat.
the pork meat into roughly 1 Ĺ-inch cubes, including all of
the fat, and set aside in a large mixing bowl. You should
have about 33/4 pounds of cubed meat.
Grind together 2 tablespoons salt, pepper flakes, fennel
seeds and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Sprinkle over the cubed
meat and toss to coat evenly. Seal tightly and refrigerate
at least 2 hours while you prepare the pork stock, or
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine
the spiced cubed pork and the rind in a large Dutch oven or
lidded heavy pot with the smashed garlic. Pour over enough
pork stock to just cover, about 2 cups. Bring to a simmer on
top of the stove and skim any gray foam that rises to the
top, then cover and place in the oven.
Cook until the meat is tender enough to smash between your
fingers, about 2 Ĺ hours.
Remove from the oven and let the meat cool in the broth for
20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and rind
from the broth. Transfer the meat to a large mixing bowl and
set the rind aside. Pour the broth through a
cheesecloth-lined strainer into a measuring cup.
When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it by hand.
The meat should not all be the same size, but all over the
large pieces should be broken down. Chop the rind fine and
add it to the meat.
Stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, very slowly
incorporate the white wine and then the strained pork stock.
Youíll wind up with a sticky, very soft mass. Season to
taste with more salt, pepper flakes and black pepper.
Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, with plenty
left over to hang over the sides. Pour the meat mixture into
the loaf pan and thump the pan solidly on the work surface
to even the meat and release any air bubbles. Fold the
plastic wrap over the top, set another loaf pan on top of
the meat and weight it with a couple of cans of food.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Alternatively, you can pack the meat into glass or
earthenware crocks, cover with plastic, weight and
When ready to serve, use the excess plastic wrap as handles
to lift the meat from the loaf pan. It will come out in one
solid piece, like a terrine. If the terrine sticks, run a
metal spatula or knife around the edges to loosen the
plastic wrap from the pan. You can serve this either sliced
as a terrine or in a crock as a spread alongside grilled or
and scraps from 4 ĺ pounds pork butt or shoulder
cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
the bones and scraps, pigís foot, bay leaf, onion, garlic,
salt and water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, skim off
any gray foam, reduce the heat and cook very slowly to make
a rich stock, at least 2 hours. Pour through a
cheesecloth-lined strainer before using, discarding the
solids. This makes about 2 cups stock.
OF 26 SERVINGS:
fat: 3 grams
Inspired by Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Millerís
"In the Charcuterie" and Paul Bertolliís
"Cooking by Hand."