Headcheese Help

crustyo44
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Post by crustyo44 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 20:21

Hi Rick,
First of all, have you tasted the meat/spice mix to check if it is to your liking? You can still adjust it.
I always warm the meat up and mix in the warmed Gel before filling up either a bowl or a casing.
I have used as of late 115 mm plastic casings.
They worked very well and are see through.
I always slice it up with my acquired s/h OMAS slicer.
Good luck,
Jan.
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Post by Rick » Wed Oct 01, 2014 20:27

Hi Jan, yes I sliced it on my Globe meat slicer and it is way too salty for my taste, and my wifes. Therefore, I've decided to make another attempt, but wanted to get some answers to the previous questions I had on the seasoning, stuffing and need for poaching.

Thanks for your input Jan, hopefully I can get a proven process down on doing headcheese.

Regards,
Rick
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Post by Cabonaia » Thu Oct 02, 2014 05:16

redzed wrote:I always reduce the broth after straining it and adding to the cooked meat. That way I have better control of the saltiness of the product. And of course I go one step further after filling the casing: pig's stomach, beef bung or artificial. I poach the head cheese for a further 90 minutes at around 170-180F. That way the meat, broth, seasonings and any additional salt all come together in perfect harmony!
Redzed - we are on the same page!
Rick wrote:Do you pack your casing with the cubed meat and pour in some liquid gel as your packing? This is the process I used and the gel didn't get into all the nooks and crannies, which resulted in slices that didn't hold together. I think the ladle process might work better.
Rick - I make a nice thick stew with the meats and broth, and ladle it into the casing. Then I poach it as Redzed describes. Not sure why you got gaps. You could have a helper stir the contents of the casing with a long wooden spoon. Also, did you poach once you had cased? This is recommended. As you poach, prick the casing generously wherever you see bubbles after the contents have started to solidify. After it is done poaching, you can weight it and that will also help get rid of gaps. I have found that, when making a 5 lb. recipe, I can get two chubs out of one long casing meant to hold 7 lbs. I just cut it in half and fill each half. The poached chubs each fit into a bread loaf pan, and on top of the chubs I set another loaf pan with a weight in it. This produces a kind of rectangular shape. Hope this makes sense.
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Post by Rick » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:14

Cabonaia, no I did not poach after stuffing since I poured in hot liquid gel, and in Rytek's instructions it didn't state to do so.

If I understand your process correctly, you reduce your broth in order to get a good setting gel. In order to get a good "stew" like consistency, means to me that you are letting your spiced meat and broth mixture start to gel or convert to a semi-hard state? So I'm thinking that you've got your mixture in the fridge and your checking it periodically to see if it has entered the "stew" stage and ready for stuffy.

The only reason I can see for the poaching after stuffing is to allow the "stew" to go back to a liquid and fill any voids and pockets in order to create a tight solid mass on cooling. Also, to meld with the meat and spices as redzed stated. Because after all, we've already cooked our meat once.

Does this sound somewhat like to way you do it?
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Post by redzed » Thu Oct 02, 2014 15:23

Rick the whole process is done in one day in succession. Cook meat, cool a bit and seperate from bones and and discard what you don't want and dice the rest. Cover with something because that meat dries out fast. Strain broth though cheesecloth and reduce. I usually am confident that it will gel because I make sure there is enough skin in there and I always use pork feet which guarantee you a thick gelatin. You can do a quick test by poring an inch of the broth into a small bowl and placing in freezer to cool and thicken. You will know in half an hour whether it worked. Then you add the extra spices about 10 or 15% of the weight of the meat in broth, mix and ladle into the casing. Poach again, let cool over night in fridge and you have headcheese for breakfast.
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Post by Rick » Thu Oct 02, 2014 18:25

redzed, a big thank you for the process break down, that's what I needed to see.

I just picked up the meat for my re-try this weekend.

Rick
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Post by Rick » Sun Oct 05, 2014 14:56

Just wanted to say that the second attempt was the 'charmer', so I'd like to give a big thanks to butterbean, Jeff, redzed and the rest for all the good advice.

I did away with the brine process, added 2 T. cure to the cooking stock pot, did a cold rinse after 3 hours, cooked 2 trotters in a separate pot for gelatin and added 4 T. salt to the spice mix, and did the poach for 2 hours. I also noted these changes in my Rytek book recipe for future reference.

It came out great this morning for breakfast! Thanks guys!
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Post by Cabonaia » Sun Oct 05, 2014 17:07

Woo hoo! Congratulations Rick and way to go! This kind of story is one of the many thins I love about this forum.

Jeff
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Post by Bob K » Sun Oct 05, 2014 17:56

Good going Rick!

I relied on Ryteks book for a lot of years...some successes and a lot of so-so's or failures.

The Mariaski books really can't be beat but better yet is the support and info on this site!
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Post by redzed » Mon Oct 06, 2014 04:28

Glad to hear that it worked out this time for you Rick! You sure are are one heck of a determined guy! Got any pics?
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Post by Rick » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:26

Thanks redzed. Oh pics, another whole new challenge! LOL
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