Last time, I made lamb neck rillettes that I tried to model after merguez sausage. While the product was good, it wasn't as I intended it to be, oozing red goodness. In hindsight, folding in harissa would have been a good idea, but I've been too eager to try my next idea, which is chorizo rillettes. It sounds scary, but I really want to make a red, eye-catching product of infinite desirableness.
To achieve the color, I decided to develop the same kind of chile paste that is used for fresh, Mexican chorizo sausage. Don't let the dried chiles be intimidating, they're already dead.
Paste of Epic Redness:
- 3 dried Chile Ancho (can also make using only anchos)
- 3 dried Chile Pasilla
- 3 dried Chile Guajillo
- 3 sticks of cinnamon
- Half a head of garlic, peeled
- 1 medium white onion
- Toasted, then ground cumin seeds
- 3/4 C apple cider vinegar
Begin by dry toasting all of the dried chiles on every side. Then submerge them in water for half an hour, or until soft. Drain (but reserve the liquid), and then combine with the rest of the paste ingredients, and blend. The result won't have the appearance of chorizo at all, but will get there after cooking. The deeper the red, the better.
Step two is integration. Cut two pounds of pork belly and two pounds of collar or shoulder into inch by inch by inch pieces, roughly. Then combine.
Add the paste to the pork.
Which becomes this:
Which leads to this:
Next, if you have the time, let the pork sit in the fridge overnight. If not, place the pork in a dutch oven with some stock, and the strained chile liquid to cover. I also like to include a bouquet of cilantro stems, since they have a lot of flavor and should never be wasted. Cover the dutch oven and leave to cook in a 300 Dg oven for 4-6 hours, until tender. Strain and reserve the liquid, and add the pork (in batches) to a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Slowly drizzle the cooking liquid into the pork as it mixes until a desired consistency is found. There should be cooking liquid leftover.
Put the pork in a sterile mason jar, leaving an inch of space at the top. Place the cooking liquid in the fridge so the fat can quickly separate from the stock. Skim the fat off the top and bring it to a boil on the stove.
The lard should look like gold, because it is gold. This is the best part of the whole dish, and it should be cherished. Once it reaches a boil, and the pork jars have cooled, seal them with the fat. Chilling the pork in the jars first prevents the top section from getting crispy during the sealing process. If there is lard any leftover, save it in the freezer. This golden lard will make the best eggs in the future, or you could whip it and use in place of butter.
Let the meat cure for a few days before eating. Don't forget to drizzle the golden lard on top when serving, and some fleur de sel never hurts. If you're not into the whole rillette thing, the paste of epic redness can be used with ground pork to make a classic, fresh Mexican chorizo. Just fold the two together and fry.