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How-To: Making Pork Rillette with Chef Steven Mary

Pork Rillette with Dried Fruit Compote + Salad

In this second installment of our pictorial how-to series (in the first, we made kimchi with chef EJ Jeong of Cham Korean Bistro in Pasadena), we visit chef Steven Mary of Pinot Bistro, who teaches us to make the studio City's restaurant's recipe for rillette.

Rillette isn't as scary as it sounds. In fact, it's a perfect dish when you have guests coming for brunch or lunch. You can prepare it a day in advance, take it out of the fridge half-an-hour before mealtime and serve it with some fruit compote, toasted bread, pickles and salad. The version at Pinot Bistro is an exemplar of the genre, offering textural complexity and layers of flavor that blend savory hits of pure pork with hints of dried fruit sweetness. In our next installment, Mary teaches us how to make a countryfied French foie gras terrine.

[Step-by-step photo gallery after the jump. Full recipe at the very end of the post.]

Making Pork Rillette: Raw Pork

Take a raw pork shoulder and cut it into approximately 3-inch chunks. Place in a large pot and cover with fat (confit) or stock (braise). Cover pot and gently bring up to simmer, there should be very little movement. Slowly cook for approximately 3 hours-until fork tender.

Making Pork Rillette: Draining the Meat

Drain the cooked pork of its excess fat, then spread out pieces of pork to cool for 30 minutes.

Making Pork Rillette: Fork-Tearing the Pork

Set aside half of the pork and shred it using two forks.

Making Pork Rillette: Fork-Tearing the Pork

When you're done shredding, it should look like this.

Making Pork Rillette:

Take the other half of the pork, and place in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment.

Making Pork Rillette:

Add 2-3 tablespoons of dried fruit compote (recipe at the end of the photo gallery) or your favorite marmalade.

Making Pork Rillette: Adding Salt

Add a generous pinch of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of coarse salt.

Making Pork Rillette: Adding Duck Fat

Add 1/4 cup of either the fat or stock used for cooking. Mary recommends duck fat, if you can get your hands on it.

Making Pork Rillette: Chef Steven Mary

Paddle pork in the mixer to break down to rough pâté consistency.

Making Pork Rillette: Mixing the Rillette

This is what it should look like.

Making Pork Rillette: Mixing the Rillette

Using your hands, fold the shredded pork into the "pâté" and season with another heavy pinch of salt and pepper -- to taste.

Making Pork Rillette: Mixing the Rillette

When you're done mixing it by hand, it should look like this.

Making Pork Rillette: Room Temperature Rillette Made the Day Before (left) & Freshly Made Rillette (right)

Here's a side-by-side comparison of a pork rillette made the previous day, brought to room temperature and drizzled with duck fat (left) vs. a colder, freshly made rillette.

Making Pork Rillette: Bread on the Grill

Mary likes to serve his pork rillette with warm, freshly grilled bread brushed with olive oil.

Pork Rillette with Dried Fruit Compote

Voilà. Pork rillette.

Pork Rillettes

From: Chef Steven Mary of Pinot Bistro

Note: Duck fat is available at Whole Foods, Surfas and other specialty stores.

Makes: 18 4.5-oz portions

Dried Fruit Compote:

1/4 cup dried pitted dates

1/4 cup dried apricots

1/4 cup dried tart cherries

1/2 cup prunes

2 cups cider vinegar

1. Place dried fruit in a non-reactive pot. Cover with cider vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, and allow to cool in liquid.

3. Strain and pulse rehydrated fruit in food processor until it reaches a jam-like consistency.

Rillettes:

1 pork shoulder (approximately 5 lbs.)

1 gallon duck fat or 1 gallon chicken stock

1 cup dried fruit compote (use the recipe below or substitute your favorite marmalade)

3-4 tbs. coarse sea salt or fleur de sel

1 tbs. black pepper

1. Cut the pork shoulder into approximately 3-inch chunks. Place in a large pot and cover with either the duck fat or the chicken stock.

2. Cover the pot and gently bring to a simmer. There should be very little movement. Slowly cook, for approximately 3 hours-until fork tender.

3. Drain liquid, and spread out the pieces of pork. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

4. Set aside half of the pork and shred it using two forks. Take the other half of the pork and place in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

5. Add 2-3 tablespoons dried fruit compote, a generous pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt and 1/4 cup of either the fat or the stock used for cooking.

6. Paddle the pork in the mixer to break down to rough "pâté" consistency. Next fold the shredded pork into the "pâté" and season with another heavy pinch of salt and pepper -- to taste.

7. Pack the mixture into ramekins or desired serving vessel. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

8. To serve, remove the rillettes from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with warm grilled or toasted bread and a tablespoon of dried fruit compote on top. Add accompaniments of choice: whole grain mustard, cornichons and salad with a simple vinaigrette

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Pinot Bistro
miles

12969 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

818-990-0500

www.patinagroup.com