As our vine whisperer, Ann Kraemer says, "Fat and tannins? Oh my!" We recently did a video of the five flight of wines we offer at our tasting room in Sutter Creek, which inspired Ann to quickly share a plate of pork rillette that she just happened to have sitting in our tasting room kitchen. We paired it with our 2013 Syrah - and just after one sip and taste - it would be a sin to not share this beautiful pairing with you.
Two pounds skinless, boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 1" chunks
One pound pork belly, skin removed and reserved, meat cut into 1" pieces
Four sprigs thyme
Three Bay leaves
Freshly ground nutmeg
Fresh lemon juice
Toasted bread or crackers (for serving)
Step 1 Preheat oven to 275°. Place pork shoulder and belly and skin in a large saucepan. Tuck in thyme and bay leaves and add ½ cup water. Cover and braise, stirring occasionally, until meat is falling-apart tender and fat is soft, 2 ½–3 hours. Remove from oven, pluck out thyme and bay leaves and let meat rest until cool enough to handle.
Step 2 Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat and skin to a large bowl; pour fat and any cooking liquid in pot into a heatproof measuring cup (you should have about 1 cup).
Step 3 Shred meat with a potato masher; do not hold back. Pour in ¾ cup fat and mash meat a little bit more—mixture should look and feel almost pasty (but in a good way). Season with salt, nutmeg, and a splash of lemon juice, which will temper the richness of the meat. Taste and adjust as necessary (err on the side of too salty—it will mellow as it cools).
Step 4 Pack rillette mixture into jars, pushing out any air bubbles. Top each with a few spoonfuls of reserved fat and chill until set, at least 2 hours.
Step 5 Serve with bread or crackers.
Step 6 Do ahead: Rillette can be made 1 week ahead; cover and chill. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours before serving. Ann also strongly recommends to shake a good amount of pepper on top!
Pair it with our Syrah for additional love...