Scrappy Rillette Recipe

Save your fatty meat scraps and turn them into a country pâté with this rillette recipe.

From "Welcome to the Farm"
January 2018

  • Rillette is easy to make and will last for months in your refrigerator.
    Photo by Pixabay/webandi
  • “Welcome to the Farm” by Shaye Elliott collects the author’s own farm experience into a comprehensive guide for readers looking to get in touch with their own inner farmer.
    Photo by Shaye Elliott

Welcome to the Farm (Lyons Press, 2017) by Shaye Elliott, is a fully illustrated and detailed guide to growing your own amazing food right in your own backyard. She offers a wide range of recipes, from jam and jellies to growing fields of organic fruits and veggies. The following excerpt is her Rillette recipe.

Fat’s where it’s at, baby. Rillette takes all the little trimmings left over from butchering and cooks them to perfection in their own fat. Think of it like a -country pâté!


• Pork scraps from butchering (a combination of meat and fat of any ratio will do)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Dutch oven


1. Cut the pork scraps into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Add them to the Dutch oven and turn the heat to low. Low, I say. Cover with the lid.

2. Let the pork slowly cook and melt, stirring as often as you remember to. We’re not looking to sear or brown the meat. Just gently, slowly, patiently, let the pork melt and cook on its own.

3. Once the pork bits are nicely browned (I once did about 3 pounds of scraps and it took about 20 hours), turn the heat off, and gently remove the bits of meat from the Dutch oven, using a strainer to skim through the fat. Place the meat bits into a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Give it a little extra salt, as you’ll be eating it at room temperature.

4. Use two forks to gently shred the bits of meat, breaking up any large chunks.

5. Using a set of tongs, scoop the meat bits into a large mason jar, pushing down with the tongs to help release any air bubbles and condense the meat. Once all the meat is added, pour the melted fat left in the Dutch oven over the top of the meat, covering it by at least ½ inch. The fat will seal the meat and preserve it. Place a two-piece lid onto the mason jar and immediately stick the jar into the refrigerator. This will cause the jar to seal as it cools (essentially “hot-packing” the meat). Once the jar has sealed, you can store the rillette in your refrigerator for many months. Smear it on a piece of bread and enjoy.

More from: Welcome to the Farm

Homemade Cured Ham Recipe
Homemade-Cured Bacon Recipe
Homegrown Chorizo Recipe
Pork Head Cheese Recipe
Curing and Storing Meat at Home

Reprinted with permission from Welcome to the Farm, by Shaye Elliott and published by Lyons Press, 2017.

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