Questions about hog's head cheese

Discussion in 'Side Items' started by alblancher, May 9, 2012.

  1. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I am trying to improve my hog's head cheese recipe.  I normally use boiled and shredded pork butt but some of the recipes I see call for using either shoulder or picnic

    If I can find fresh ham/picnic with the skin and outer fat will it provide more gelatin and flavor then the butt? 

    Any comments on using a split pork head?  This is the more traditional recipe and it require less added gelatin.  Are they generally available from a butcher that processes fresh pork?  If I get the head split do I have to remove the brain and other neuro material,  the eyes?  Will the butcher provide the split head ready for the pot, not sure if that material is banned for safety reasons. 

    Thanks,  I've always used butt and it just doesn't make an excellent final product.

    Thanks for any guidance

    Al
     
  2. Front or rear shank should certainly provide more natural gelatin than the ham or shoulder.

    We have always used the head when making headcheese, minus the brain, eye and ears which are used for other things.
    A good real butcher should be able to provide the head any way you want it.
    Head meat has excellent flavor, we also make potted meat with the head, which is excellent.


    ~Martin
     
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks Martin,  so I should just ask for the head split and ready for headcheese.  less neural mater and eyes.

    Both recipes call for feet where most of the gelatin will come from, I can get the shanks also.   Should I still use shoulder or ham or will a head and couple of shanks/feet provide about 10 lbs of meat?
     
  4. I would ask for a head minus the brain.
    Hocks or shanks should be easy to get.
    Yield will, of course, depend on the size of the hog, I would figure on having some shoulder on hand too.


    ~Martin
     
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks again
     
  6. cdldriver

    cdldriver Meat Mopper

    boy do i love head cheese how about the recipe please.
     
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    In development, I don't like the recipe I am currently using so I am exploring changes.  I need to contact a butcher and find the cleaned split head and trotters.

    When I get it going I'll post so Qview.  I want to do a demo for SELA so I better start practicing.   Since we talk about smoked food I may have to include some smoked shoulder with the boiled head, feet and shank meat. 

    I wonder how well having a pig head boiling on top of the stove will go with the ladies and kids?  HeHe
     
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

     It may look a little strange but I'll bet Dollars to Donuts it will smell Awesome. As a kid I didn't like Headcheese and Trotters because of the texture of the Gelatin, but I loved to have a cup of the Broth hot before it set...I'll be interested in your result...JJ
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Oh Yea, with plenty of green onion, garlic maybe some secret spices and herbs!
     
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Many Walmarts carry frozen hog heads in the frozen meat coffin cases too.  At least here in the South, for Mexican dishes.  Try a Mexican meat market also.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012

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