During our recent visit to A.O.C., we sampled some of their amazing wines as well as their beautiful charcuterie board. We couldn’t get enough of the pork rillettes! Our server told us that chef and owner Suzanne Goin’s husband (also a chef), would come by the restaurant late at night and wait for her to get off work at the bar with a half bottle of white wine and pork rillettes. It’s his favorite thing at the restaurant and we understand why!
The team at A.O.C. was kind enough to share the recipe with us, so you can try your hand at this amazing dish at home. For even more great recipes, you can order your copy of The A.O.C. Cookbook here.
Sommelier Caroline Styne says that the “pork-rillettes recipe is a slice of earthy, fatty heaven. It has a soft, meaty flavor and rich texture, and when eaten with the pickled onions, it is the perfect mix of low and high on the palate.”
To find the right wine pairing, she says that “This is one of those instances when the goal in selecting a wine is to find one with enough acidity to cut through the richness of the food on the plate without dominating it. I normally opt for a white wine from France, which seems appropriate, since the recipe’s preparation has its roots there. Bright, high-acid wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon region work really well. Here white wines are made from grape varieties like Marsanne, Roussanne, and Clairette that tend to show notes of ripe stone fruit and baking spices that will bring out the exotic spice notes in the pickled onions and the sweetness of the rillettes.”
- 3 chopped dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
- 11⁄4 pounds pork fatback, cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
- 21⁄2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 11⁄2-inch dice
- 21⁄2 pounds pork belly, cut into 11⁄2-inch dice
- 3 cups finely diced onions
- 2 cups finely diced shallots
- 2 cups white wine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, the bay leaves, and the thyme.
- Add the fatback, shoulder, and belly, and toss well to combine. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 days.
- Heat a 14-inch stainless steel pot, Dutch oven, or equivalent oven-safe pot over low heat. Add the seasoned shoulder, belly, and fat to the pot. Cook about 1 hour, stirring often, until most of the fat renders.
- Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F.
- Add the onions and shallots to the pot, and cook about 10 minutes, until translucent. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the pot so that nothing burns. Add the wine, and simmer for 15 minutes. Then transfer to the oven and cook for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to prevent the top from browning. When you can squeeze a piece of shoulder between your fingers and it falls apart, it is done.
- Strain the meat, reserving the fat. When the meat has cooled enough to handle, shred it with your fingers, and place in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands to work the meat, make sure the different cuts of pork are well combined. Add enough reserved fat to achieve a spreadable consistency, approximately 1⁄2 cup of fat depending on the meat.
- Taste for seasoning, adjust, and then tightly pack the meat into the terrine. Firmly tap the terrine a few times on a table, to remove any air bubbles. Cover, and chill overnight.
Excerpted from The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin. Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Goin. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.