Duck Rillettes

Serves: Makes about 600g

Duck Rillettes
Duck Rillettes Duck Rillettes

There is no getting away from the fact that duck rillettes-or pork for that matter-looks like something you would feed the dog but goodness, it’s tasty stuff. Rillettes is the country cousin of the smooth pâté- long, slow-cooked meat is shredded, packed into a kilner jar and sealed with fat. It takes roughly two days to make and then a further two days for the flavours to develop but requires no real skill to make. Serve with good bread-by which I mean something crusty and fresh- or sourdough toast- and cornichons.



  • 1 whole duck
  • 375g boneless and rindless pork belly strips, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Maldon salt
  • 2 teaspoons juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 200ml chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • To serve crusty bread -or toast- and cornichons
Duck Rillettes


  1. Halve the duck down the backbone and breastbone and then across the middle so you have four pieces. Place in a mixing bowl with the pork belly pieces.
  2. Put the salt, juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, ginger and nutmeg in a coffee/spice grinder and blend to a fine powder. Sprinkle over the meat and rub in the spices to coat all the meat. Cover and chill overnight.
  3. The next day heat the oven to fan 120°c, mark 1. Tip the meat into a large flameproof casserole and add the garlic. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil to warm everything up. Stir once or twice, cover the casserole with a lid and cook in the oven for 4-4 ½ hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
  4. Suspend a colander over a large bowl and tip the contents of the casserole into the colander. Leave to drain for about 30 minutes, reserving all the cooking liquor. When the meat is cool enough to handle remove and discard the duck skin and all the bones. Shred the meat into a clean bowl.
  5. Skim as much fat off the top of the reserved cooking liquor and set aside (it will be used to seal the rillettes). Add enough of the remaining liquor to the shredded meat to moisten it but not enough so it pools. Stir well and taste and season the rillettes with salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Pack the meat into a sterilised kilner jar and level the top. Pour over some of the reserved fat to cover the rillettes by about 3-4mm. Seal the jar and refrigerate for at least two days before eating.
Duck Rillettes