Rillettes du Mans
The "most succulent delicacy", according to Balzac, owes its popularity to its Le Mans recipe. In just a few years, this town in the west of France has become the ambassador of this pork preparation, made from small pieces of pork meat, stewed for a long time, to the point of falling apart and ending up spread on good toast... or not. A very addictive snack.
What you need to know
While rillettes were born in Tours, in the 15th century, they owe their fame to Le Mans, the city of the 24-hour car race. It is from this region, the Sarthe, west of Paris, that this pork preparation spread to France in the 19th century, then to the world. Small cubes of pork meat, 3 to 4 cm on a side, are stewed for 3 to 4 hours, seasoned with salt and pepper and then, if necessary, shredded with a fork, before being placed in stoneware bowls and left to rest in the refrigerator for hours.
While they are obviously very rich in fat, rillettes also provide the body with a significant amount of protein.
How to use
It is best to take the rillettes out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before eating, so that they can be enjoyed at room temperature.
With a good pain de campagne or a seeded baguette, toasted if possible, to give it roasted notes. What about the wine pairing? Go for a red Bourgueil, just to stay in the region.