Page 1 of 2
Pork Tongue and Snouts
Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 18:33
Went to my local Vietnamese meat market yesterday and picked up 5# of pork tongue for $1.99 lb., then I scooted over to my little grocery store that caters to the local Mexican population to get me 5# of snouts for $1.29 lb. Got em soaking in Rytek's headcheese brine now. I've ordered a pig head for Saturday pick-up to cook down for some meat and gelatin. Hopefully a nice headcheese chub next week!
I've got a taste for a thick piece of headcheese with some cider vinegar poured over it! Must be the cool weather that does it.
Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 23:51
Head cheese is good stuff. A friend of mine's grandmother has the best head cheese recipe but she refuses to share it. Its like her claim to fame but she has promised to give it to her grandson when she thinks the time is right. This reminds me that I need to bump him up to see if this is the year else he forget. If I can get my hands on it I'll share her recipe and we can give her credit so she can forever be remembered in the digital world.
Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 23:59
Butterbean, that sounds like a good trade off. She should be proud to know that her name and headcheese will live on for the remainder of the internet!
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 04:59
Rick I've been thinking about head cheese too. Now here is something else about boiling a pig head - it makes the best stock ever.
Have fun and show us your results!
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:44
My wife would have a fit if I boiled a pigs head in the house !
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:57
Cabonaia, I agree the stock is wonderful. I do strain it through cheese cloth. Mainly I do it for the gelatin which forms on the surface after it cools in the fridge over night. Actually I think I end up with way more than I need. I don't know if it freezes well or how well it keeps, but I do hate to toss the remaining out after I'm done making the headcheese.
Cogboy, you just have to put a lid on the pot and forbid the wife from peaking into the pot!
You could threaten her with taking up taxidermy and getting into those flesh eating beetles that are used to clean the meat off skulls. Put that combination in a glass aquarium for her to watch! heheheh!
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 14:58
The stock freezes well. You can boil it down a lot so it doesn't take up too much room in the freezer. Makes a great soup (great for pozole), and it really improves chili.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 17:40
Jeff, I'm sure the stock would freeze well, but I was also wondering about excess gelatin?
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 23:32
Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 15:51
Rick wrote:Jeff, I'm sure the stock would freeze well, but I was also wondering about excess gelatin?
Hi Rick - before you freeze the concentrated stock, there is no difference between it and the gelatin. But after freezing the gelatin is not so firm anymore in my experience. In fact, head cheese I have frozen did not hold up well for this reason.
Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 18:51
Jeff, thanks for your comments. I've never tried to save the gelatin after whatever amount I used to stuff the chub with.
And in regards to freezing, I can tell you in the past that the wife has vacuum sealed some headcheese that I've sliced on the meat slicer, and after thawing it never presented any problems as far as making a sandwich with. I know I have her vacuum pack and freeze it in 1# packages for future sandwich use.
It's been awhile since I've done headcheese and if I recall correctly, my process was to cook off the snouts and tongues ahead of time and cool them before chopping to size. Then I cooked the head for several hours to loosen up any cheek meat etc. and to get the gelatin. I then strained this liquid for the excess meat and cooled the liquid in the fridge for the gel to form on the top. The next day, I'd lift off the gel which I used in my headcheese process. I would stuff my fibrous casing with the cold meat after chopping, and then add the liquefied gel which I reheated back up on the stove to the casing. Once it was full and plump, I'd tie it off and back into the fridge to harden up again before slicing.
This is kind of how I'm expecting to do it again. As for the remainder of the gelatin, I guess I'll just toss it or feed it to the dogs. The stock I'll save for use in chili or whatever the wife does with that sort of thing.
Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 16:54
Hi Rick - My experience has been a little different from yours in that all the stock from a pig head has turned to jelly. Been scratching my head over this -- maybe it's because I cook it with the snout and ears still attached. I use the jelly for the head cheese, and the rest goes into the freezer and gets used later for stock. However, a really thick jelly, if used exclusively in soup, can give a rather weird feel in your mouth - as if you're eating a lemon but without the tartness. Maybe astringent is the word. So it needs to be diluted after thawing.
I cut off the jowls before boiling the head, since they make nice bacon, guanciale, or salt pork. Maybe when you buy a head the jowls are already gone? I don't know.
BTW, I've actually only done half a head at at time.
Sounds like you have the process down. I hope we see pictures of your results. I love head cheese as much as most of my family doesn't, in a sandwich or plain with a splash of vinegar and a dab of mustard. Thanks for your posts, as they have put me in mind of making some soon.
Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 17:36
Jeff, It's been a couple of years since I did the headcheese. Tomorrow I'll be getting the head which I asked to be sawed lengthwise. So I'll be simmering both halves for a good 5 hours or so. No, I don't have the ears, jowls or anything removed.
I'll have to watch and see after cooling as to the ratio of broth to gel and let you know. I have also made jowl bacon before, but for now I'll just add that meat to the headcheese.
As for pictures, I'm not familiar with the process of uploading them onto this website.
Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 21:49
Jeff, just picked up my hog head, 24#. Had them split it so I can freeze half for another chub another day! The lady asked what I needed a head for, and I told her for headcheese. She exclaimed, "Oh we haven't made headcheese in years"!
And the price was right, $8.
Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 05:28
8 bucks? Sweet!