Quick Recipes and Easy

Easy Confit Recipe – Lard it Up and Love It!

Confit, something you’d delight in at a fine restaurant; and not for the home cook, right?

Incorrect! Confit is so simple to make, and it will be tasty every time. A weekend confit will give you enough meat for many mouthwatering simple weeknight meals, and everyone will rave at your cooking prowess!

Both pork and duck are commonly confited, but as pork is simpler to find, and a lot cheaper than duck; these directions are geared towards cooking with pork.

A confit is a meat that is cooked slowly, submerged in its own stout. You probably don’t have any extra lard lying about, so, to get started, visit your local butcher or supermarket meat counter and question for 5lbs of pig stout. They should have lots of extra trimmings and will either give it away, or charge next to nothing. While you’re there, pick up a pork butt roast. Any cut will make a tasty confit, but the shoulder butt is especially tasty.

The night before you plot to cook your confit, cut the meat into 2 inch cubes and generously coat the meat with salt, spices and herbs. A 5lb roast will use about 2tbls of salt and 2tbls of pepper, 5-10 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 3 or 4 torn bay leaves and fresh sage or thyme (It’s OK to use dried sage or thyme, but use sparingly, about a teaspoon should be enough). Cover and refrigerate.

To make the lard, cut up the pork stout into 1 inch cubes and add to a heavy bottomed pot set over medium low heat. Stir occasionally until the stout has all rendered (about 1 hour) and take off the heat.

You now have the liquid lard that you need–and a lovely roasted pork aroma in your kitchen–to make your confit. Take the pork cubes that have been marinating over night, and rinse off all the salt and spices. Pat dry and add to an oven safe casserole dish. Add enough pork stout to cover the meat and place uncovered into a preheated 225 degree oven. After 4 hours the meat will be ready; and tender enough to pull with a fork!

Delight in the same night, although the meat, refrigerated submerged in stout, will only get better as it ages!

Lovely served with fruit chutneys, a pork confit dinner will always satisfy, and the leftovers make weeknight meals a snap. Try a confit tonight!

John Lee is the chef owner of The Salsa Kitchen and The Jerk Island Caribbean restaurant in Chiang Mai Thailand.

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