This versatile, classic French hors d’oeuvre recipe is simple to prepare at home. Pork rillettes may be served informally with an assortment of compotes, mustards, pickles and a loaf of country bread for a wine country-inspired picnic. The rich, savory flavors pair beautifully with the spice and fruit notes in Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rub pork with salt, quatre d’épices and fennel pollen. In a heavy bottom pot, brown pork, shallots and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat. Carefully deglaze pot with Madeira, sherry and Cognac. Reduce until liquid has nearly evaporated, and add chicken stock.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Create sachet by combining bay leaves, peppercorns, star anise, parsley, thyme, carrot and celery in cheese cloth. Tie sachet with kitchen twine, add it to the pot and bring to a simmer. Place pot in preheated oven and cook until pork is fork tender (3-3 ½ hours). To make the rillettes, use a slotted spoon to remove pork from liquid and transfer to a non-reactive bowl. Strain braising liquid and allow fat and stock to separate. Finely shred pork and mix in reserved braising stock and rendered fat to your liking. Season with pepper to taste, then transfer to a glass dish or crock suitable for cold storage. Seal the mixture with 1/8” layer of duck fat, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
To make the optional compote, sweat shallots, hazelnuts, star anise, orange peel, thyme and dried cherries in butter until shallots have cooked through. Add the orange juice, Cognac, Cabernet Sauvignon and honey. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fresh cherries and cook through (3-5 minutes). With a slotted spoon, remove cherries and place in a non-reactive bowl. Return liquid to heat and reduce until syrup coats the back of a spoon. Pour syrup over cherries; fold in tarragon, balsamic glaze and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
To plate, place a quenelle of rillettes on a small dish, smear a small amount of cherry syrup and top with compote. Garnish with edible flowers and serve with crackers, such as our Jordan Fruit & Nut Crostini.