Friday, February 29, 2008

Char-cute-erie

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.

25 comments:

Chilebrown said...

That sounds very interesting. Rilettes, I have not tried. Sounds like a new Meat Adventure. How about rowing across the bay and checking out the new coffee shop that Meathenge has talked about. They are supposed to have a Trio 10-12. Ms. Goofy and I are going to make an appearance.

kudzu said...

Huzzah! That rabbit gave you so much good eatin' ! Did you have any cornichons?

Michael said...

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El said...

This appeals to me three ways. One, the container is cute (yes, I can be a sucker for packaging), two, it is a delicious form of meat thrift, and three and most importantly it's a vehicle for bread, which, for me, is a food group! Yum! Thanks for making my morning: it's time for toast.

cook eat FRET said...

i am totally freakin' impressed. seriously.

freakin. it's my new word.

as opposed to your new word: orangezest...

Kalyn said...

What a lovely photo. I've never heard of this before, so thanks for the lesson in French cooking. Things you make from food that might get thrown away appeal to me a lot, although I haven't branched out much beyond stock and compost so far!

Zoomie said...

Cute,indeed! Love your thrifty ways! My mother would be proud!

Mary Coleman said...

Heated and served over boiled potatoes the next day! Oh.My.God.
Brilliant.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Rillettes - yum, a particular favourite - I think I was 13 or 13 when I first tried rillettes, one of the many the benefits of a restaurant-reviewing mum ;)

Heather said...

Duckies and bunnies are also so au courant, what with Easter being right around the corner.

Jennifer Jeffrey said...

Oooh, fabulous, but of course. It's springy, yet still apropos for the chill in the air...

Stacie said...

wow! and what an awesome photo too... the only ducky-bunnie love around here is peeps.

Chilebrown said...

You need Asparagus to go with that fancy Rillettes. I hope Chris is there tomorrow morning!! I am not sure if Ms. Goofy has the strength to row across the Bay. I would help her row but I might spill my coffee!!

cookiecrumb said...

Chilebrown: You could easily do this and it would be so good. We missed your kaffeeklatsch. But then, I'm not a coffee drinker.

Kudzu: Mais oui! If there wasn't such a thing as cornichons, they would have to be invented for this dish. Perfection.

El: "Meat thrift." Indeed, but somehow elevated to sidewalk cafe status. Try it.

ceF: (therewasfreakinorangezestinit)

Kalyn: Compost! Ha ha ha! Did you know how funny your sentence was? Very good.

Zoomie: Irresistible, is what it is.

Mary C: Ah! Thanks for liking that. It was divine. Your blog is very nice. Feeding Groom. Heh.

Morgan: What a lucky upbringing you had.

Heather: Yeah, and then we slaughtered and ate them! Har!

Jennifer: Did you feel that chill today? What was that? Good bistro weather.

Stacie: Peeps! You always make me laugh.

Chilebrown: We'll be at the market tomorrow morning, bad hair and all... Good news about Chris?

Lore said...

Well this post introduced me to rillettes. I'm not exactly in the know, n'est-ce pas? Hopefully that's a sign that my cooking skills will someday become as good as yours :).

Kevin said...

CC,
I made duck rillettes for Christmas. Yum.

peter said...

Loves me some rillettes. Bunnies like sweet condiments... marmalade, perhaps? Or pickled oranges?

tammy said...

Wow, I have got to get my hands on a rabbit!! I bet the Easter Bunny would makes some good eatin'. I'm setting traps.

cookiecrumb said...

Lore: Now what did Cookiecrumb say? "Dead easy." Really, and you can do it too. Yay.

Kevin: I'm putting that on my list for next.

Peter: Hey, that's a good idea. How would you pickle oranges -- just the zest?

Tammy: Are you any good with a bow and arrow? It's quiet. And don't tell your kids where the food came from.

namastenancy said...

Rilettes ,yummy yummy yummy. I buy a duck or goose and some really fatty pork once a year for the fat and to make rilettes. I've also flavored my rilettes with herbs such as rosemary and lavender (oh la la) and garlic as well; that on Acme bread is a treat.

Sam said...

oh man, that sounds a whole lot easier than when I tried to make the blimmin' rilettes!

Maybe I need to go to a cooking class on the subject?!

peter said...

You could salt-pickle them like Moroccan lemons, or either ferment or vinegar pickle the peels- maybe with a tiny bit of honey- think bread & butter chips, but for bunny spread instead. Bread & bunny chips.

KristiB said...

I'm adding these to my evergrowing "to try" list.

cookiecrumb said...

NamasteNancy: Wow. Well, now that I've got the basics down, I'll definitely experiment with flavors. Thanks for the ideas.

Sam: I kept rereading your blimmin' post on rillettes. I guess mine was so easy because the rabbit had already been braised (and rabbit braises so fast).
Cooking class. Hee. I pass. xx

Peter: Good ideas. We had talked about the salt version. I must experiment.

KristiB: Try it Right Away so you won't forget about it or become intimidated. It's almost picnic weather!

katiez said...

I am rather fond of rillettes...actually, I really like the cute little jars they come in!
I've made salmon rillettes - didn't last long enough to get in the little jar!