Lake Trout Rillettes

As I’ve explained before, rillettes were originally a spread made of salted pork slowly cooked in fat, but many recipes involving other meats or fish are now common. In a previous post, I showed how to make some simple, quick smoked trout rillettes as an accompaniment to a seared trout fillet. Here is a slightly more complex dish that I prepared with the Cayuga Lake contingent.

You can keep the rillettes refrigerated for about 5 days. Serve them cold as an appetizer. I find that they pair particularly well with trout roe and yeast-free blini, with just a dash of lemon juice and some chives.

Lake trout rillettes
Yields one 1 1/2 qt terrine (at least 12 servings)

2 oz top-quality olive oil
34 oz cleaned (skinned and boned) trout fillets
10 g smoked salt
1 g curing salt
10 g salt
2 g piment d’espelette
6 oz white wine
1 1/2 oz whisky
6 oz butter, softened
6 oz goat’s milk butter, softened

  • Spread the olive oil on the trout fillets, place into sous-vide pouches, and cook in a 120 F water bath for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the trout from the pouches, and pat dry with paper towels. Season evenly with the smoked, curing and regular salts and the piment d’espelette, and reserve.
  • Reduce the white wine to 1/4 in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the whisky and let cool.
  • In a blender, process the wine and whisky mixture with 1/4 of the trout until smooth.
  • Place the butter and goat’s milk butter in an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, and beat at maximum speed for about 5 minutes. Add the blended trout mixture, and beat until smooth. Flake the rest of the trout between your fingers, add to the mixer, and beat at low speed for a few seconds, until evenly distributed but still chunky.
  • Transfer the rillettes to a 1 1/2 qt terrine mold lined with plastic wrap, cover with more plastic wrap and a lid, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  • Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving. Remove the rillettes from the mold and slice.

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