Spread Pork Rillettes On Your Next Sandwich For A Savory, Meaty Taste

Crafting a good sandwich is all about balance. It should provide gustatory and textural variety, just as much as it should offer visual intrigue. Although any combination of ingredients can be used to build a harmonious handheld, what separates a good sandwich from a great one is the incorporation of a wild-card addition — this is where a smear of oh-so-savory pork rillettes comes in. For a sandwich that wows every time, look no further than a pot of pork rillettes.

Unlike airy pâté or slices of terrine, pork rillettes is a chunky, confit-style spread made by mixing shredded meat with fat to create a coarse yet creamy paste. Beyond its unique texture, however, the most appealing quality of rillettes is its flavor. Ultra decadent, the paste teems with umami. Savory, salty, and fatty, it can even boast traces of herbs and spices, depending on the recipe. With so much to offer, adding the porky paste to a sandwich can elevate flavors and textures to extraordinary degrees. 

Adding pork rillettes to any sandwich is simple. All you need to do is spread a generous spoonful of store-bought or homemade pork rillettes onto sandwich bread. Doing so will not only boost complexity, but can also act as a barrier that will keep the bread from turning soggy when moist ingredients are layered on top.

The sandwiches in dire need of pork rillettes

Pork rillettes can improve nearly any sandwich. From sourdough piled high with deli meats to plant-based sammies packed with grilled vegetables, rillettes can enhance any sandwich thanks to their high level of umami and fat — elements guaranteed to increase deliciousness. While the spread can complement (or contrast) flavors and textures in a wide range of sandwiches, some pair better with rillettes than others.

First and foremost, the paste can easily be used as the focal point in a hoagie. Drawing inspiration from our indulgent pâté baguette, rich rillettes can be balanced by fresh radishes or tangy cornichons, which even add crunch. Likewise, bitter salad greens and briny capers also temper decadence, much like a swipe of zesty dijon or textured chili crisp. Even chunky fruit chutney or sweetly caramelized onions can offset saltiness while maintaining earthiness when pork rillettes is layered simply on rye. 

Alternatively, rillettes can also be used as a supporting ingredient. For instance, they can impart another dimension of texture and amplify meatiness in a grilled chicken banh mi complete with cilantro and pickled carrots. Similarly, pork rillettes can emphasize savoriness in a pressed Cuban sandwich, much like it can underline richness in a saucy pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw and crumbled chips. With so many opportunities to play with flavor, how will you incorporate pork rillettes into your next sandwich?