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What is Pork Confit?

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  • Written By: Janis Adams
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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Cooked in its own rendered fat and lard, pork confit is seasoned pork that is slow cooked. When the cooking process is complete, the pork is extremely tender, as it has been submerged in its own renderings for the entire cooking process. Before the confit is served or used in any of a number of recipes, it is allowed to cool without being removed from the renderings. Once it is cooled, it is stored in the fat in which it was cooked.

This process of cooking, cooling, and storing called confit originated in France and was used as a means of preserving the meat for a longer time period before the creation of the refrigerator. More common than pork, water fowl were chosen for the first confit recipes. These hearty dishes were considered a tasty delicacy.

A very fatty cut of pork is the best choice for the recipe. Even a lean cut of pork like a tenderloin, however, will prove to become a savory meat once it undergoes this traditional French cooking process. Whatever the cut of meat, this dish can be served as a fancy meal or for a family dinner.

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Generally when done to the best advantage, the cooking pork confit proves to be a two-day process. The day before the cooking is to begin, the pork is cut into cubes ranging from 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm). The cubed meat is then coated with salt, pepper, and spices. The spices most commonly used are thyme, rosemary, and sage. The next day the salt, pepper, and spices are washed from the meat, and then the meat is fully submerged in the warm fat bath. The pork is then cooked and baked for approximately four hours.

After the cooking process is complete, it is best if the pork is left in the fat overnight. On the day it is served, the pork is removed from the fat and reheated in a hot oven. This heating process not only warms the pork confit throughout, but it also gives the meat a warm brown hue.

Roasted potatoes, or any other side dishes that are popularly served with a roast pork, go well with pork confit. The fat and lard from the confit can be kept and used again, while any extra pork confit can be used in the popular French dish cassoulet. Pork confit is a dish that tastes better and better each time it is reheated.

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letshearit
Post 5

Has anyone tried eating pork confit while on a low carbohydrate diet?

I have found that it is really energy dense so it can be a great choice if you are looking for something tasty to have when you are in a rush. While it takes a while to make, it always lasts ages, so if you make enough of it at once you can be good for a carbohydrate free snack for a few months.

My friend turned me on to pork confit as well as confit made from duck. They are both delicious and I would recommend for anyone trying the low carbohydrate lifestyle.

CaithnessCC
Post 4

My late grandmother used to make pork belly confit on payday, and then for the rest of the week she recycled the fat in her cooking.

I remember fighting my siblings for the chance to stay with her for a few days. On our return we would boast about breakfasts of wild mushrooms fried in that delicious rendered pork fat, enjoyed with scrambled egg and buttered toast.

Sadly I haven't inherited her culinary flair, and my pork loin roast is a pretty standard offering. This article has inspired me to check out some basic pork confit recipes, in honor of her memory.

lonelygod
Post 3

If you are making pork confit it is good to know that it can keep a really long time if you are storing it in the fridge. On average it is suggested you leave it for at least two weeks just to get a good flavor going, and discard it around the two-month mark.

I once left pork confit in the fridge, under a good layer of fat, and it was still good at the two-month mark. You may notice some unsightly blackening of the fat if it has been in the fridge for that long, but this can be scraped away and the pork remains safe.

As a general rule, if your pork confit looks OK and smells OK it is safe to consume.

Valencia
Post 2

@Windchime - If you want to buy rendered fat it's better to visit a butcher's store. The type you buy in the store may be hydrogenated, to increase shelf life. That may taste okay but is a lot worse for your health than the fresh type.

I make my own rendered fat to use with belly of pork recipes and it's quite easy. Just cut some pork fat into small cubes and melt them slowly. I like to add a little water at the start to avoid scorching.

When it's fully melted let it cool, strain into containers and seal them. It keeps for several months in the fridge or you can freeze it if you like.

Windchime
Post 1

I came across this article when looking for some new ways to cook meat. Everyone in my family looks forward to the Sunday get togethers, but we are in need of some fresh ideas.

This recipe looks like a good alternative to our usual pork chops or pork roasts and I'd like to give it a try.

I see it calls for rendered fat, but I'm not entirely sure what this means. Would it be okay to use the lard you can buy in the supermarket?

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