Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So the last pigs head that came in had a jowl missing. So Testina was out of the question. So i made guanciale with it and boiled the head for stock which eventually gets used in this recipe. This week i got a fully intact head and just happened to have a friend come into work with me for the day who just happened to be a butcher. So while i cured some other meats he was tackling the pigs head. Now taking everything off the skull in one piece is not as eay as some may think. Scott the butcher did a perfect job except for a couple missed grooves of meat. But he did it pretty quick and he was working for free so i forgave him :) The head went into a brine for a couple days. 

Once brined (which isn't a neccessary step) i split the head in 1/2 and halved each jowl to fold it over the other side to balance out the fat content. i did the same thing with the meat. if you have to remove the meat and filet it to make a nice even layer of meat, do so, it wont effect the finished product. I then heavily seasoned the meat with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, a traditional method i was told from a friend named Chris. I let that sit over night and then rolled each 1/2 head up with the rind on the outside and wrapped it in cheesecloth and tied it like a roast as tight as i could. 

I then brought the pigs stock from the other head up to a boil with a bunch of aromatics and lots of carrots as per Chris' recommendation. and poached the head for about 18 hours on a light simmer. 
Once fully cooked, i removed the two roulades and waited till they cooled a bit and then wrapped them tightly in saran wrap poing holes constantly to remove any air holes in the middle of the roll. Two rules here, you can never use too much saran 
wrap and never make too many holes to achieve a perfect roll.

Once fully wrapped, puncture a few last holes and press between two sheet trays with a good amount of weight on it. Let sit for 12 hours in the fridge, unwrap and you should be left with a nice looking testina. If its not perfect dont be too concerned. you turned a whole lot of nothing into somethin'. Slice and season with a bit of olive oil and sea salt and serve with some toasted bread. Yum!

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