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Olive Oil Rillons


  • 3 lbs. (1.36 kg) pork shoulder, cut roughly into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 ½ tablespoons (45 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) curing salt #1
  • 2 ¼ tablespoons (17 g) chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) chopped garlic
  • 6 chopped cloves
  • 1 ½ tablespoon (1.8 g) chopped thyme
  • 1 nutmeg, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine
  • 11.1 ounces (314 g) California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
If you’re making the rillons you will also need:
  • 1 cup (220 g) sugar


  1. Dice the shoulder into cubes 1-inch by 1-inch and transfer to a large bowl. Place in the refrigerator while we work on our spices.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, combine all of your dried spices. Combine with everything else (except for the olive oil), including the white wine and using a fork, mix well. Using your hands mix the rub with the diced pork.
  3. Transfer your mix to a bow and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for 3 days.
  4. By day 3 the meat should be nice and marinated; it should have a great smell of clean spice and garlic the meat should have a slight pink color to it. Preheat the oven to 250F /120C.
  5. On low heat, heat the olive oil on the stovetop in a pot. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully pour the warm oil over the shoulder. Be sure that the meat is fully covered. Place lid on top and put in the oven for about 2 hours, or till the pork is fork tender. Be sure not to overcook the pork. You want the pork to be tender but not “cottony”.
  7. Pull from oven and allow to rest in the oil for an hour.
  8. Using a slotted spoon drain the pork from the oil. Reserve all oil and liquid.
  9. At this point if you are making rillons: Place the pork in a large bowl working very gently with a rubber spatula sprinkle the sugar in a steady flow while stirring with the spatula. You are trying to cover all sides of the rillons with sugar and trying to keep them as intact as possible. Cover it with oil. It should be fully covered so that all of the meat is submerged under oil. Store in the same manner as the finished rillons. Should we tell them about crisping it up in a Teflon pan so the outside of the meat is nice and crisp. Like a creme brulee of pork in a way?
  10. Place the pork on to a cutting board and chop roughly. You are looking for a uneven mass I like them to have a uneven look to them with some large chunks as well as some finer chopped pieces as well. Then transfer to a bowl.
  11. Separate the fat from the cooking liquid—Do this in the same way that one would take the fat off of a stock. Using a ladle remove the oil out of the pan being very careful not to stir up the oil and the liquid. You will be able to tell that you are into the cooking liquid when you see the darker color liquid on the bottom of the pot.
  12. Add 1/3 of the oil and the liquid from cooking to the chopped pork, stir well until the liquid is incorporated.
  13. Taste for salt and moistness. It should be well salted and very succulent. Whenever you’re about to cool something you want it salty to taste, as that salt will mellow.
  14. With a slotted spoon press down on the meat, liquid should ooze a bit and the meat should start binding. Place into casserole dish, terrine mold, jars, or any other vessel that you would like. Press down gently. Allow to cool for one hour in your fridge.
  15. Remove from fridge and pour about a quarter inch layer of the cooking oil over the top of the rillons. Cover and store in your fridge. (You can eat it right away while it is still warm. However the flavors will become much more incorporated and mellow out a bit if you let it rest for a day or two.) Will keep for up to 1 month.

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