Travis Kern- Chef
Started at 14 years old washing dishes in a bar in Greenwood Lake, NY. Worked for 4 years as a cook at a family run restaurant in Warwick, NY. Spent 9 years in Boston as a line cook/ lead cook at a few restaurants (blu, Zon’s, Rocca). Moved to DC 5 years ago to take a position as Sous at Art & Soul and I took over Boundary Stone a year ago.
Working With Milton’s Local
I enjoy working with Milton’s Local because of their attention to detail, the knowledge they have of their products and their commitment to working with farmers who raise their animals appropriately. Its great to have in depth conversations about the animals and what cuts are coming in. I put a lot of effort in to creating a menu based around responsibly sourced ingredients and having Milton’s right there to answer any questions I have or provide me with specific items has been fantastic.
Why This Dish?
Pork rillette is a great dish because simple, delicious and easy to keep on hand. A batch of rillette will remain fresh for weeks. If I’m relaxing and get hungry, its easy toast a few crostini, get a handful of pickles, and have a small meal. It mixes the savory of the confit pork, with the sweet and tartness of the pickles and the crunch of the toast. It forces me to slow down and really enjoy what I’m eating.
Rillette can be steered flavor-wise where ever you want to go. It’s a very old dish that made the most of what was around and preserved it. This is a bit of an updated version.
Brine for 10 days until the brine has fully penetrated the butt. This will depend on the thickness of the meat. Once its ready, dry it off, place in a dutch over with 2 quarts of fresh, rendered duck fat. Place in the oven at 250 degrees and cook for 3-4 hours. The meat should pull a part easily. Remove the meat from the dutch oven and strain the fat through a chinois. Put chunks of pork into a food processor and ladle the fat back into it. At this point feel free to add mustard, grated nutmeg, clove, anise, or any other dried spice. Consistency is a personal preference but I like mine to be like peanut butter. Fill up small glass jars with your “pork jam” tapping the jar lightly to make sure no air bubbles are left. Ladle a small amount of fresh, rendered fat on top to fully cover the pork. This acts as a seal to help preserve the freshness. Lay your jars on a tray and refrigerate.
When you start feeling a bit hungry, pull the rillette out to come to room temperature, scrape off the fat layer, and spread the pork on the crostini with your favorite pickles.