Bone-in Pork Shoulder
I have made salmon rillettes for years, but only tried making pork rillettes for the first time last year.  It was a success and is now a regular for me at holiday time.  It keeps very well and while I make it at Christmas, I usually only eat one and save the rest for entertaining in the months to come.

I had a nice pork shoulder that I bought from my local meat guy (I cannot believe I have become a person who actually has a Meat Guy, but it's great!), which I had saved for just this occasion.  It is actually a pretty easy dish to prepare.  Let your slow cooker or oven do all the work.  On the fly, I played around with different flavour combinations (largely by smell) and this is the combination I came up with.  This may not be a very scientific way to create a recipe, but sometimes the nose knows.

Note:  I used a bone-in shoulder which would yield slightly less meat once the bones are removed.

Recipe - Makes about 2.5 Cups
2 lbs pork shoulder (boneless)
1/4 cup Bourbon (a good substitute here is apple cider)
6 whole cloves each of cloves, juniper berries and allspice berries
1 whole star anise
1 tb fresh thyme sprigs
8 oz duck stock or chicken stock
8oz duck fat or lard (melted) +
1 tb coarse salt

- Cut the meat into 2" cubes
- Place in large oven-proof pot or in a slow cooker
- Add stock, fat, cloves, juniper berries, allspice berries, star anise, thyme and salt
- Cook in slow cooker on high for about 6 hours (or until very tender) - if cooking in oven, cook in 350F oven for 3 hrs (or until very tender)
- When finished cooking remove meat from cooking liquid and let cool
- While meat is still warm, using two forks, shred the meat (easier to shred when warm)
- Mix in just enough of the cooking liquid to form a texture similar to tuna salad (easiest comparison)
- Pack into small jars or ramekins and top each with a thin layer of fat (about 1 tablespoon)

Star anise, cloves, juniper berries and whole allspice.
New favourite Bourbon


I added the bones to cook with the meat - I could not miss the opportunity to add extra flavour.
In the slow cooker (a globule of unmelted duck stock on top)
After it was cooked, I let it cool until I could handle it.  I pulled apart the cubes and shred the larger pieces using two forks opposed to a machine - I wanted it to look more rustic.  Once that part of the processing was complete, I mixed in some of the cooking liquid until the mixture would hold together.  I packed it into small jars and topped with some melted duck fat (just a thin layer).  It was delicious with my ramp pickles which I had made in the spring.
Cooked and ready for shredding
Ready to enjoy now and some for the freezer
Note:  8oz Ball Jars are perfect for this.

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