I'm finally old enough to see it all coming, the days around xmas and new year were once again filled with dinner parties plenty of delicious food and as always a bit too much red wine. But this year I planned ahead ! While some were already out for these sometimes very dangerous company christmas dinners I made a night shift in the kitchen experimenting with something that should save me on these hangover mornings that were bound to follow - la rillete de maqueraux.
Rillete is something like a paté originally made with pork, the meat is salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat and then processed into a paste.
I came a cross fish rillete several times while traveling in france and always wanted to make my own version of it. As I said before it's the perfect hang over breakfast but it's also lovely served with toasted bread to accompany a soup dinner.
Slowly fry the shallots in butter. Add the Flesh of the mackerel and the chopped rosemary. Quench with the pernod, season with salt an pepper.
Cook for 2 minutes then take of the heat. Put into a food processor ( or blender) you want it to be soft enough to be spread on toast but not to mashy.
Add fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest. Add the chopped capers and some thyme leaves. Season with nutmeg and more salt and pepper is needed.
Fill into a glass and press it in tightly. Meanwhile make the clarified and the spiced butter :
Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.
Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, nutmeg, pepper, anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set.
When just warm, but still liquid, pour over the fish and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.
Serve on toasted brown bread. The rillete can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.
With this technique one can experiment I also made a white tuna rilette with plenty of chopped dill.
If this does not help to cure your hangover why not try something stronger like kevins favorite breakfast toast: