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Bacon Rillettes

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This delicious condiment is filled with the awesome flavors of savory bacon, sage, bay leaves, a kick from rye whiskey, and assorted vegetables for a perfect spread on anything from cornbread and toast to seared salmon and ribeye steaks. This recipe is the perfect way to season and flavor anything. Try putting a dollop over some plain rice or steamed veggies and see just how vibrant this recipe really is.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound slab bacon
  • 1/4 carrot, diced
  • 1/4 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup rye whiskey
  • Generous 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 sage leaf
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 stick butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Details

Servings 6
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 50mins
Adapted from jamesbeardfoundation.org

Preparation

Step 1

Heat a large Dutch oven or saucepot over high heat. Add the bacon and sear for 2 to 3 minutes to render out the fat. Flip the bacon and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to render out more fat. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside.

Add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to the bacon fat in the pot and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the whiskey and tomato paste. Return to the stovetop and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes, or until the whiskey begins to evaporate.

Add the chicken stock and cooked bacon. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the thyme, sage, and bay leaf. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours, or until the bacon is beginning to fall apart. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove the bacon from the pot and place in a food processor. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid; discard the solids. Add a cup of the cooking liquid to the food processor. Turn on the machine, then gradually add the softened butter through its feeding tube, a few pieces at a time. Continue blending the mixture, adding up to 1 additional cup of cooking liquid to help the mixture achieve a smooth texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pack the rillettes into ramekins or jars. Chill well before serving.

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