Pig Head (1)
Fresh Hocks (4)
Saltpeter (opt 6)
- Wash the PIG Head. Scoop out the brain with a spoon and discard
- Remove the flesh and skin from the head bones. Just start working from
the edges with a razor sharp boning knife. Work around until you have it
all off, then take also all the tongue. (Note-3).
You should end up with something near 3 pounds.
- Remove the skin from the fresh hocks and all the meat from the bones.
You should have about 1 pound of meat and about 1/2 pound of skin. Toss
skin and meat in with the pig head. Use the bones to make soup
- Grind PEPPER and ALLSPICE, crumble BAY LEAVES,
strip leaves from THYME stems. Mix all with Salt and
Saltpeter (if used).
- Work the Salt Mix thoroughly into all sides of the
Pig Head and other meat and skin parts. Pack into a non-reactive
(glass, ceramic or stainless) bowl, cover tightly and store in the
refrigerator for a week (Note-7). I generally pull it
out, turn and repack a couple times during the week to make sure
everything is well distributed.
- After a week of curing in the fridge, rinse all the pieces in cold
water and put them into a pot.
- Peel the ONION, cut in half crosswise and stick each half with
a Clove, cut CELERY into 1 inch lengths and CARROT
into 1/2 inch lengths. Put all Cooking items in the pot with the
Pig Meat/Skin and add water to just cover. Bring to a boil and
simmer very slowly until all pieces of meat pierce easily, 1-1/2
hours should be about right.
- Pull all the meat/skin from the pot, cool and cut into fairly
large pieces, about 3/4 inch by 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Cut
ears into strips about 1/8 inch wide by about 2 inches long.
- Boil the broth down by about 1/2. Strain it and de-fat it (use your
- Pack the Meat/Skin chunks into molds shaped so the head
cheese can be unmolded easily. Pack only medium tight, then pour in
enough of the broth to just cover the meat. Let cool and refrigerate
until well chilled and jelled.
- To unmold, partially fill a bowl with hot water, set the mold in it
just long enough to free the cheese, then unmold onto a plate and
refrigerate to re-chill.
- If you haven't eaten it all within a week, melt it down over very low
heat, simmer slowly for 10 minutes, remold and refrigerate.