A rich, amazing way to treat your pork shoulder cuts....
2.5lb pork shoulder
1 drop of truffle oil per ramekin
1/4 cup amontillado sherry
2 bay leaves
1 small handful of thyme, leaves picked
1 tablespoon of sea salt
10 black peppercorns
6 juniper berries
1 cup of fat - either lard, duck, or a preferably a mixture of both
2 cups of good stock - chicken or veal
small handful of chopped parsley
Sauteed Leeks in butter, torn fresh watercress and a very, very good balsamic vinegar (Venturi-SchulzeVineyards in Vancouver). Drizzle over warm toasts.
Cut the meat in to 1inch cubes. In a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle if you want the work out) grind up the bay, thyme, salt, peppercorns and juniper berries. Put the meat in a large bowl, pour over the brandy. Pour over the spices, and toss really well to combine. Cover the bowl, and bung it in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours, whatever takes your fancy really.
Preheat oven to 225-250F
In a heavy (enameled cast iron would be lovely) large pan with a tight fitting lid, heat up a couple of tablespoons of the fat. Toss in the meat, and brown lightly. Add the rest of the fat, and let it melt. Pour in enough stock to almost cover the meat. Pop the lid on, and place in the oven. Let this cook for about 3 hours.
Check on it from time to time. Give it a good stir. If the liquid level looks too low, add some more of the stock - or water.
After three hours remove the meat from the cooking liquid. Let the meat cool just enough to handle. Pull the meat apart with your fingers, and put it into a large bowl. Shred the meat up using a couple of forks and cross-wise strokes of them against each other. Careful here, there will still be some mixing that will happen later - so don’t shred that meat up too fine. We are looking for something with texture here, not a completely smooth emulsion.
Add the cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time to the meat. If the liquid has separated into fat and broth, mix it back up. After adding each tablespoon give the meat a good mix up. You want the meat to be moist, but not soaking. When you have reached your desired consistency, add the chopped parsley to the meat, and mix some more.
Pack this meat into small ramekins, leaving about 3/4″ headroom - we are going to top these bad boys off with some fat. Once you have all the meat packed into the ramekins, put them in the fridge. This will help them set up, so when we pour liquid fat on top, it forms a nice clean layer, and doesn’t go down in to the meat, making it fattier.
Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring jug. The fat will settle on the top. Spoon this fat off into a separate bowl and add 1 drop of truffle oil per ramekin to the fat. Once the ramekin meat has set up well (3o minutes to an hour should do it) pour this liquid fat over each one. You want to cover the meat with about a 1/4″ layer of fat - enough to get a good seal.
Return to the fridge, covered with aluminum foil. Covered like this, they should last a couple of weeks easy. Once you break the fat seal however you will want to eat them within a couple of days. Like that is going to be hard to do….
Base recipe & writing, originally, from the Wrightfood