Rillettes is a sort of meat spread made from shredded meat and fat; this one is pork belly. The attached article gives a recipe using pork shoulder, and the same principle is applied here. The differences are that my boyfriend cured the pork belly first in salt, pepper, fennel seed, and thyme overnight. Then, he added thyme to the braising liquid, in addition to garlic and bay leaves. When the meat was falling apart, he combined the shredded meat and some fat in a mixer. Rather than placing the rillettes in a jar, he molded it into a loaf pan to chill, and then he sliced it to serve with cornichons and bread.
The article also includes a good rationale for pairing this rich dish with a dry Champagne (or sparkling wine). It helps to cut through the fat and clear the palate for the next unctuous bite!