Lamb Rillettes with Minted Apple Jelly

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Credit: Jeff McInnis, Chef, and Janine Booth, Chef de Cuisine, Root & Bone, New York; Courtesy of Meat & Livestock Australia
The National Culinary Review, May 2014


5 lbs. bone-in lamb shoulder
5 T. olive oil, divided
1 cup bourbon
3 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
4 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
Fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs
1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 lbs. butter
2 cups olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
½ cup shallots, small dice
½ cup parsley, chopped,
½ cup mint, chopped
3 T. wholegrain mustard
Minted Apple Jelly (recipe follows)

Minted Apple Jelly
4 lbs. apples, large dice
4-5 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 whole allspice berries
3 cups sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 rosemary sprig
½ lb. fresh mint, chopped


1. In large, heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat 3 T. olive oil over high heat. Season lamb heavily with salt and black pepper. Add lamb shoulder to pan; brown on all sides.

2. Put browned lamb in deep, ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. Drain remaining oil from frying pan; deglaze pan with ½ cup red wine, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour wine over lamb.

3. In large, heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat 2 T. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; saute until vegetables turn golden-brown. Deglaze pan with 1 cup bourbon; cook vegetables over medium heat until wine mostly evaporated and pan almost dry.

4. Add vegetables to lamb in pot. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, 1 garlic clove, and fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs. Add butter and oil to just cover lamb.

5. Cover pot; put in 325ºF oven for about 4 hours, or until lamb is tender enough to shred with a fork. Cool lamb in fat for about 30 minutes.

6. Remove lamb; strain fat, reserve. With fork, pull meat apart, removing and discarding sinew and fat. Pour 1 cup strained fat back into shredded meat, stirring with fork to disperse fat evenly. Mix with chopped herbs, shallots and wholegrain mustard. Check seasoning. Pack in 10-12 (4 oz.) Mason jars; refrigerate.

7. Serve lamb rillettes with toasted baguette slices and minted apple jelly.

Minted Apple Jelly
Method: Roughly chop apples (do not peel or core). Put in pan; cover with water. Add cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Bring to a boil; simmer, covered, 45 minutes. Pour into scalded jelly bag suspended over large bowl. Strain overnight.

Measure 4 cups juice into heavy stock pan; slowly bring up heat to a simmer. Add sugar. Add lemon juice; simmer. Add mint; continue to simmer until reach 220ºF for jelly set. Pour into warm, sterilized jars; cover, seal. Jelly will keep for up to a year unopened, stored in cool, dark place. Once opened, put in fridge; use within three weeks.


10-12 4 oz. Mason jars, 2 servings each


Lamb, Main Dish, The National Culinary Review

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