Crispy, Seared Rillettes with Biscuits Recipe

Crispy, Seared Rillettes with Biscuits Recipe
Staff Writer

Rillettes are generally made of meat that has been cooked slowly in well-seasoned fat, and then ground and stored in a small pot or ramekin with a layer of fat on top. This recipe from Chef John Currence of City Grocery Restaurant Group uses a bone-in pork shoulder and is best served cold on toast, bread or biscuits — a perfect appetizer. 

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds bone-in pork shoulder
  • 3 ½ tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 ½ pounds slab bacon, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound pork fat back
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 cups water, plus more as needed
  • Biscuits, for serving

Directions

Rub pork butt with salt, black, and red pepper. Cover and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator. 

Bring the pork to room temperature. In a large pot over high heat, sear the bacon and fat back until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Sear the pork shoulder in the same pot and when browned on all sides, return the bacon and fat back. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring pot to a boil over high heat.

Lower flame to medium-low and simmer (adding water to recover meats when needed) for 4-5 hours, or until pork shoulder is falling apart.

Strain off meats and discard liquid, saving about 1 cup of the pork fat (this liquid can be separated into fat and stock and the stock makes fantastic soup) and allow the meat to cool until you can handle it easily, but do not chill.

Remove bay leaves, bones, and cartilage.

In batches, pulse the meat in a food processor until the meat is just broken up, not pureed.

Store rillettes in mason jars covered with a thin layer (¼ inch) of the reserved fat. This should keep refrigerated for up to a year, with the fat unbroken.

Rillette Shopping Tip

Ingredients like olive oil, shallots, mustard, cream, stock, and butter will help bring French flavors to your cooking.

Rillette Cooking Tip

French cuisine is renowned for slow-cooked sauces, however a quick pan sauce will do just as well; after sautéing a piece of meat or fish, remove it from the pan, deglaze with brandy or wine, finish with a touch of butter or cream and voilà!