This potted pork recipe is popular in Tours
. It is usually served as first course or an hors d'oeuvre
with pickles and french bread. My grandmother's variation on it is below.
1 pound lean pork, cut into strips
3/4 pound pork fat, diced into cubes
3/4 pound bacon (thick sliced, without rinds), diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper (preferably lots, my grandmother uses a mix of white, black and green peppercorns)
A dash of nutmeg
a dash of crystal hot sauce (you may subsitute tabasco if crystal is not available)
1 branch thyme or 1/8 teaspoon
1 bay leaf
2 shallots, cut in half
6 sprigs parsley
3/4 cup of water
Place pork strips, fat and bacon into large bowl. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and hot sauce. Mix together and place into casserole dish. Add thyme and bay leaf to the top of the mixture. Place shallots where they can easily be retrieved. Tie a string around the clove so that it can be removed. Add sprigs of parsley and water. Bring to boil on top of range, cover and place into a 300 degree oven. Remove clove after one hair, braise for about four hours.
The water should evaporate and the meat should be slighlty browned, if the meat browns too fast, reduce heat to 275 degrees. When it is done, remove and discard thyme, shallots, bay leaf and parsley. Spoon meat into sieve and strainer and collect fat. Reserve the fat. Using two forks or your fingers, pull the meat into small shreds. Do not use a food processor or meat grinder. Place torn meat into small earthenware containers or custard cups. Press down without packing meat into container and set aside. Once the meat has cooled, filler the containers with the reserved fat.
Refrigerate to harden the fat. If any meat sticks up through the fat, add more liquid fat or melted lard. The containers should have a deep layer of fat over the meat and no air pockets. Once the fat has hardened, cover the meat and keep refrigerated.
Serve cool but not ice-cold with french bread as a first course or hors d'oeuvre.