Andrew's Pork Rillettes
The traditional version of rillettes is made with pork belly and pork shoulder, cut into cubes, slowly simmered for several hours in stock or seasoned water, then shredded with a fork and mixed with pork fat before being packed into a crock or ramekin for storage in the fridge. These rillettes from Andrew Keen of Parker House Grill & Wine Bar are pretty straightforward. He stresses the importance of incorporating the liquid and fat into the meat by hand. This is perfect party food – awesome with toast points and cornichons (tangy, tasty little French pickles).
1 4 to 5 lb. pork picnic shoulder, skin on
2 carrots, chopped
1 head of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 onions chopped
2 ribs of celery
bouquet garni tied in cheesecloth with twine: celery leaves, bay leaves, black peppercorns, thyme, marjoram
8 c. chicken stock
4 c. dry white wine
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Place the whole pork picnic into a roasting pan just large enough to hold it and add all the remaining ingredients. Cook, uncovered, in a low oven (250°F) for about 8 hours. Turn the meat twice during this time. When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the broth and set it aside. Strain the broth and reserve it; discard the solids. Remove the skin from the meat and discard it. Cut the meat into large pieces. Place the meat in a large bowl and shred it into fine shreds with two forks. As you shred the meat, add the strained broth, which contains fat from the meat, 1/2 c. at a time. Add up to half the cooking liquid until the meat is moist and as finely textured as you want. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pack into ceramic ramekins or bowls or a pair of large loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool completely in the fridge, about 4 hours. Allow a day for the rillettes to mellow before serving. Scoop out of the container, serve in the container, or invert the rillettes onto a plate to serve. Makes 2 12” x 4” loaf pans.