Yesterday, Vessel Executive Chef Cameo McRoberts described her vision for the bar's cocktail-friendly menu. Today, she shares a recipe that suits her vision for the menu, and also the restrictions of a smaller kitchen. "The BLT rillette is a little French, a little classic American, and a little Vietnamese salad," said McRoberts. "Don't forget to do a little explaining, the rillettes gets spread on a butter leaf with a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of bacon and toast. People will think you are super fancy."
Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato (BLT) Rillette
3 lbs. of trimed boneless pork butt, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons ground mace
Generous sprinkling of Kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 quart of rendered pork fat, melted
Combine spices and salt. In a large bowl, toss the pork with the spice blend. Add garlic and knead the garlic into the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bring the pork to room temperature. Add the melted pork fat to a slow cooker with the pork and seasonings. Cover partially and cook over low heat until the meat is very tender, 4 hours, or up to 6 hours. Let cool slightly. Then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork and garlic to a large bowl. Mash the garlic and shred the pork, discard any gristle. Stir in 1 cup of the fat and season again with salt. Be fairly liberal with the salt. Once the pork cools, it can seem underseasoned. Pack the meat into a ceramic bowl, individual crocks, or a loaf pan, and cover with a layer of the rendered fat.
Bacon fat, reserved from cooking bacon
Whole grain bread; brushed with bacon fat, toasted and crumbled
Strips of bacon, cooked then crumbled
Bibb lettuce, washed and separated
Tomatoes, roasted and sliced
Serve the rillette with roasted tomatoes and bits of toasted bread that have been brushed with bacon fat [before toasting], and bib lettuce leaves. Serve on a platter and let the guests build their "BLT" by spreading the rillette on the lettuce cup, and topping with a piece of roasted tomatoes, and a pinch of bacon and toast bits.