Cook the Book: Pork Shoulder Rillettes

"The process is simple and leaves you with enough spreadable pork to feed a small army."

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

Over the weekend I was looking at my shelves of cookbooks and noticed that one subject I have yet to explore: charcuterie. For as much as I love pâtés and terrines, I've never made anything more complicated than a chicken liver mousse at home.

The chapter devoted to all things porcine in My New Orleans by John Besh is called Boucherie, and has several delicious-sounding pork-based charcuterie projects including these Pork Shoulder Rillettes.

Rillettes are a more rustic version of a pâté where the meat is shredded instead of pureed and potted with enough fat to spread easily. This version slow cooks pork butt with chicken stock, lard, wine, and a few other aromatics until it's tender enough to shred into a million tasty little pieces.

The process is simple and leaves you with enough spreadable pork to feed a small army. Making a batch of these rillettes will leave you stocked with snacks, hors d'œuvres, and delicious meaty gifts to share with your family and friends for a good long time.

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Cook the Book: Pork Shoulder Rillettes

About This Recipe

Yield:10 to 15 small jars

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lard
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • One 4 to 5 pound boneless Boston butt pork roast
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, halved
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Procedures

  1. 1

    Melt the lard in a large enameled cast-iron pot with a lid over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. While the onions are cooking, cut the pork into large pieces and season with salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    Add the pork to the pot along with the garlic, celery, chicken stock, wine, thyme, bay leaves, and pepper flakes. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and slowly simmer for 3 hours.

  3. 3

    Remove the pork from the pot and place in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on low speed.

  4. 4

    Remove and discard the celery, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves from the pot. Slowly add the remaining broth from the pot to the meat in the mixing bowl, continue mixing on low speed until all the broth has been incorporated back into the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Pack the cooled pork in a terrine or in small sterilized jars. Cover well and refrigerate. Jarred rillettes will keep for 6 months.

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