Maison Prunier and Le Mans rillettes

Connerré is the cradle of rillettes in the french region of Sarthe. It was General de Gaulle himself who, in 1965, declared Connerré as the capital of rillettes. It is here that Léonard and Théophile Prunier represent the 4th generation of Maison Prunier.

Latest edition : 26 October 2023


Léonard Prunier is very proud: every year, the Prunier house wins medals at the general agricultural competition in Paris but also at the national competition for the best rillettes in Mamers.

Léonard Prunier joined the family business in 2005 as financial manager.

“It’s important to participate in competitions if only to check the quality of our products,” he believes. “We judge the consistency of quality, but also our innovative recipes. We received our first gold medal at the Mamers competition in 1995, from our first participation. » 

By respecting traditional know-how and quality, Maison Prunier has won numerous distinctions.

If the origin of rillettes is in neighboring Touraine where Rabelais was already talking about them in the 15th century, it was the city of Le Mans which made them popular. More precisely the small town of Connerré to the north-east of Le Mans. Around 1900, a butcher had the good idea of offering railway workers and travelers on the Paris-Nantes train rillette toast, easy to eat. And when the first automobile Grand Prix organized by the Automobile Club de France in 1906 took place on the small roads of Sarthe, the participants made rillettes known throughout France.

A bit like back then. During major events, Yohann takes out the trike to offer rillettes from Maison Prunier.


In 2017, his great-grandsons Léonard and Théophile Prunier took over the family business.

The genealogical tree of the Prunier family in Connerré.


The company left the traditional premises in the heart of the village in 1997 for new rillette manufacturing workshops on the outskirts of the town. “If the production tool has been industrialized, the “manufacturing” spirit is still present, explains Léonard Prunier. Quality lies in the know-how of the workforce. »

Claude takes us on a tour of what he considers to be probably “the oldest rillette factory in the world”. He worked for 42 years at Prunier and knows absolutely everything about the rillette making!

Claude worked for 42 years in the family business Prunier in Connerré. He knows everything about making rillettes. 


“Others went to caterers in Paris after their CAP, I stayed in Connerré. In the morning, we fetched the pigs from farmers in the region. At the time, around 20 per day whereas today we process between 3 and 4 tonnes. In the evening, after the slaughter, we had to carry them down to the workshops on our back. We prepared white ham, smoked ham, bacon, black pudding... To prepare the rillettes, we needed 100 kg of meat per pot. »

In the old workshop in Connerré.

As for the recipe for rillettes, it is simple: “noble pieces of french pork, salt, pepper. The meat is browned before simmering slowly for a long time…. »

Léonard Prunier in the courtyard of the old rillettes factory in Connerré.

In Sarthe, no aperitif without rillettes. They love them so much that every year is celebrated the Printemps des Rillettes!

Ready for the picnic!

The range of Prunier products has expanded with several recipes for rillettes (goose, duck, chicken, without preservative fat), pâtés and mousses which are simply enjoyed with good bread but which also lend themselves to culinary preparations.

Mushrooms stuffed with Le Mans rillettes
Ingrédients pour 4 personnes
1 jar 220 g of Le Mans rillettes
12 large mushrooms
1 mixed pepper berries
chopped parsley

Preparation :
Clean, remove the stem and wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth
Place the mushroom heads in a non-stick skillet, curved side on top, salt, pepper and roar for a few minutes. 
Fill the mushrooms with rillettes, place them rounded side down on the baking tray.
Place in preheated oven at 150°C for 15 min.
Add parsley and a few berries.
Serve hot.


Sarthois burger with chicken rillettes with candied lemons and olives
Ingredients for 4 persons :
1 pot of 220 g of chicken rillettes Prunier with candied lemons and olive
4  buns au sésame
50 g of mixture of young shoots
A mixture of 5 berries.

Preparation :
Cut the buns in half.
Spread the buns generously with the rillettes.
Arrange the young shoots on the rillettes.
Add some pepper berries.



Prunier - charcuterie familiale 1931
The belltower of the church in Connerré figures on the pots of rillettes Prunier.