I always start off with the best intentions. Pork belly gets slapped onto the board and patiently and carefully I slice away a thin layer of be-nippled skin, leaving behind a fine band of fat and white lined, deep pink meat which is salted thoroughly but not excessively. The flesh is then plonked into a tray along with some crushed garlic, a couple of bay leaves and a smattering of thyme and then topped up with some water. Or if I am feeling flash, some wine. Or Strongbow, if that's all I've got. Into the oven it then goes, covered with foil, on a low, low heat, for at least three hours. After a while, smells begin to permeate the kitchen and seep out throughout the house. I could be upstairs in the bedroom, sorting out my socks and pants when all of a sudden, I'll feel a ghostly, aromatic finger tickle under my chin and then comes the Pavlovian response.
"Come Dan, it's time," whispers my brain and slowly, I make my way back down, trance-like, stupefied, head leaning slightly backwards. The oven door is opened and the tray is retrieved with fan blaring, the foil is peeled back and beautiful, porcine steam billows forth, intoxicating my nostrils further. An independent arm reaches up to the cupboard and scrambles about for a stainless steel bowl and the shrunken, tender, quivering belly is placed gently inside, brushed clean of caramelised garlic and withered herbs. A pair of forks are taken from the drawer and slowly and gently they begin to shred. As the moist ribbons start to appear, I stare down and focus just for second before my face starts to numbly morph into this dopey, lecherous repose. Think of Frodo from the fil-ms, every time he vinegar strokes that ring of his and you'll get the picture. "Taste it Dan," whispers Sauron, who curiously looks a lot like Nigel Slater and so I lift a forkful of hot, succulent, fatty joy to my mouth. And then I am gone, vanished.
When I appear again, the room is dark and cold. The moon shines through the window and the light bounces off an empty, hollow, stainless steel bowl that lies in between my splayed legs. I touch the bowl and then I touch my face and it feels greasy. And then suddenly I feel greasy. Greasy with hatred and contempt. I've done it again. I've eaten all the f-king rillettes again.
And this is why Mrs FU has made the rillettes for our supper club tomorrow night, as I can't be trusted anymore.
Especially since we've put duck in this one.
One Rillette To Rule Them All
And deeper into the abyss