Potted Pork

Digging into some cretonsSlow-cooked pork that is mixed until creamy and spreadable. It is very similar to the French rillette. Rillettes are traditionally sealed in ramekins with rendered fat. This is great for potted pork, too.  Especially in winter, as the fat looks like a skating rink once it sets, and because with the addition of a sprig of rosemary and some peppercorns, you can imitate holly.

Potted Pork


  • 3 lbs pork shoulder, diced to one inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1/2 lb smoked ham hock
  • 1 pork bone
  • 1 bundle thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 peppercorns, tied into a cheesecloth bundle
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn’t have whole cloves on hand, though those are probably to be preferred…)
  • 1.25 L milk


  1. First cover the diced shoulder with water and bring to a boil. This draws blood and impurities from the meat. Strain, discarding water. Place your purified shoulder and remaining ingredients in a large pot and cover with milk. Bring to a simmer, then place in 300°F oven. Cook for 4 to 6 hours, until meat is falling-apart-tender.
  2. Strain the mixture, reserving liquid. Make sure you remove the bay leaves, peppercorn bundle, and pork bone. Place meat in standing mixer and mix on low speed, slowly adding reserve liquid until contents are moist and spreadable. This should take a couple of minutes.
  3. Taste for seasoning. Since the dish will be served at room temperature, season assertively.

Cretons, sealed with lard