Monday, February 2, 2009

Head Cheese

So a lot of people like head cheese or hate head cheese, but lets face it a lot of people dont even know what it really is. Luckily for me there's wikipedia so i wont bother explaining it here. Its very hard to get pig heads, trotters, hocks, tongues, ears, hearts, snouts, and tails from any one supplier and if i could, it would take a week... atleast. Luckily, my restaurant is in the middle of little portugal and there is a small butcher who carries it all. So i've had all these goodies brining for the past few days until i had a chance to do something with it. Slow super bowl sunday was the perfect day. Theres no finesse with head cheese. Its a pretty sim
ple process that anyone can do easily at ho
me so i thought id post a quick how-to. Basically after brining your meats for however many days you wish, it all goes into one pot filled with water and aromatics of your choice ( i went pretty traditional here) and simmers away for hours. a good three hours of simmering and your good to go. Take your meat out, pick it off the bone, peel your tongues, wrestle with the gelatinous trotters, fight the ear cartilage, clean up the heart and mince it up good, season it well, recduce the stock to a 1/3 - 1/4 and pour over the diced up meat and press. Even though i said it was easy and layed it out for you in a few sentences, lets remember, it still is an 8 hour process but you dont have to be a professional cook to make it. I undertstand it isn't for everyone but with a few vinegary gherkins and some strong mustard to accompany it with you wont even be able to tell your eating 
boiled pig parts suspended in its own gelatin. YUM!!

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