I can't tell you how old I was when I first encountered rillettes. I'd be ashamed.
Maybe it's not my fault; I don't eat every meal in a quality French bistro. Besides, I think rillettes have only recently become popular in America, non?
Anyway, rillettes are just cute little pots of cooked meat that has been massaged off the bones and swathed with melted animal fat. Dead easy to make at home.
And so, the braised rabbit we cooked earlier this month yielded its final incarnation in little jars. The braising liquid we had used was so delicious, all we added was a very little salt and pepper and then gently re-cooked the meat on the stovetop for about an hour. Then we separated the meat from the braising goop*, removed it from the bones, and shredded it finely. The melted animal fat was of the duck type — bunnies and duckies are cute little critters; I figured their essences would mingle happily. The pots rested in the fridge overnight to allow things to mingle and set up. One jar went in a freezer bag and into cold storage.
For eating, we heated the rillettes just a bit; you can eat them cold or hot.
Smoodged over lightly toasted bread, it was simultaneously rustic and urbane, in-the-know, and in my backyard. What a picnic.
*The goop was fantastic, heated and served over boiled new potatoes the next day. We got something like four or five meals out of the rabbit.