─ Rillettes ─
Rillettes are pork, chicken, or duck meat (it can also be fish) that’s been chopped or shredded, cooked in its own fat, minced, and mixed with some of the fat from the cooking process.
Rillette’s texture is loose with threads of meat visible. Its preparation process looks like another famous French cooking technique called 'confit'. It cooks a whole piece of meat in animal fat under low heat with minimal seasoning. The difference is that confit items are usually cooked and served whole, whereas Rillettes are the result of shredding the confit.
─ Pâtés ─
Pâtés are meat, organ meat, herbs, or seasonings that have been finely or coarsely crushed. Some pâtés contain milk, egg, or bread as a texture modifier and organs like Liver are often used to give an earthy character to the Pâtés.
No worries, the liver is just an ingredient used to add flavour to the Pâtés, it does not taste like the liver. Pâté has so many more delicious, complex flavors thanks to the herbs and spices!
─ So what is the difference between Pâtés & Rillettes? ─
In rillettes as well as in the Pâtés the meat’s consistency is transformed, but that is probably where the similarity ends. Rillettes is at best a distant relative to pâté in the forcemeat family. Pâtés are smoother and usually use organ meat, like liver whereas Rillettes will use meat from the leg, thigh, shoulder or rib.
─ How to serve Pâtés & Rillettes? ─
French people spread Pâtés and Rillettes on bread slices with cornichons (pickles). However, you might also want to serve them with other pickled vegetables, without forgetting to accompany your appetizer with a glass of wine! It is important to have a balance with the rich flavors of pâté and Rillettes and the wine. A light red or white wine would have the depth of flavor and richness to go with your Pâtés and Rillettes!
Pâtés can also be used to make a delicious Pâté en Croûte. To do so you, need to wrap the pâté in puff pastry and bake it. We'll soon share a recipe for you to make the perfect Pâté en Croûte.
How do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it before?