"When I was a kid, my parents would heat up a small amount of rillettes, spread it on a thick-cut country toast, and place a fried egg on top.
Prep time: 47 hours
3 pounds pork shoulder, cut roughly into 1-inch cubes
3 ½ tablespoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sodium nitrate instacure 1
2 ¼ tablespoons freshly chopped ginger
2 tablespoons freshly chopped garlic
6 chopped cloves
1 ½ tablespoons chopped thyme
1 nutmeg, grated
¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon coriander
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup dry white wine
11.1 ounces good quality lard
Author's Note: If you are able to get fresh lard that has been freshly rendered by your local butcher it is best and will give you the best porky flavor. The stuff that you get at the store in a pack will do however it always lacks in great flavor and also contains a bit of preservatives that may affect flavor as well.
1. Dice the shoulder into cubes 1-inch by 1-inch and transfer to a large bowl. Place in the refrigerator while we work on our spices.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, combine all of your dried spices.
3. Combine with everything else (except for the lard), including the white wine and using a fork, mix well. Using your hands mix the rub with the diced pork.
4. Transfer your mix to a bow and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for three days.
5. On low heat, heat the lard in stovetop pot and melt it until the lard is completely translucent and barely starts to bubble. This should take no more than five minutes.
6. By day three the meat should be nice and marinated; it should have a great smell of clean spice and garlic the meat should have a slight pink color to it. Preheat the oven to 300° Fahrenheit (150° Celcius).
7. Carefully pour the melted lard over the shoulder. Be sure that the meat is fully covered. Place lid on top and put in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the pork is fork tender. Be sure not to overcook the pork. You want the pork to be tender but not "cottony."
8. Pull from oven and allow to rest in the fat for an hour. Using a slotted spoon, drain the pork from the fat. Reserve all fat and liquid.
9. Place the pork on to a cutting board and chop roughly. You are looking for a uneven mass I like them to have a uneven look to them with some large chunks as well as some finer chopped pieces as well. Transfer to a bowl.
10. Separate the fat from the cooking liquid. Do this in the same way that one would take the fat off of the stock. Using a ladle remove the fat out of the pan being very careful not to stir up the fat and the liquid. You will be able to tell that you are into the cooking liquid when you see the darker color liquid on the bottom of the pot.
11. Add 1/3 amount of the lard and the liquid from cooking to the chopped pork, stir well until the liquid is incorporated.
12. Taste for salt and moistness. It should be well salted and very succulent. Whenever you're about to cool something you want it salty to taste, as that salt will mellow.
13. With a slotted spoon, press down on the meat. Liquid should ooze a bit and the meat should start binding. Place into casserole dish, terrine mold, jars, or any other vessel that you would like. Press down gently. Allow to cool for one hour in your fridge.
14. Remove from fridge and pour about a quarter inch layer of the cooking lard over the top of the rillettes. Cover and store in your fridge. (You can eat it right away while it is still warm. However the flavors will become much more incorporated and mellow out a bit if you let it rest for a day or two.) Will keep for up to 1 month.