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.
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.