A little history. Head cheese is an old timer (middle ages'ish) that is savoured all across the world (well, except maybe North America but for sure everywhere else) . In Romania, we used to have a version of it called Piftie every Easter and on Christmas. My dad made it. I used to look forward to it all year while some of my other family members regarded me with jaws dropped when contemplating what I was about to eat. I love the nasty bits. Best parts.
Okay, time to dish.
Chad's Stupendous Head Cheese
Step 1. Find the person who will share the wisdom, the heart and technique of the art of butchering, curing, stuffing, smoking and drying.
|Check. The king of pig ...|
Step 2. Find the person who can make it possible to get a whole pig's head in Montreal. It was hard. The king of pig did it.
|Check. The butcher of pig ...|
Step 3. Say thank you to the pig who gave his (or her) life so you can have something beautiful and yummy.
|Check. Thank you pig...|
Step 4. Ask the butcher of pig for feet to go in the giant stockpot. They are primarily responsible for that awesome gelatinous texture.
|Check. Feet ...|
Step 5. Make sure you have a giant stockpot.
|Check. Giant stock pot ... I'll explain the paint cans later ...|
Step 6. Put everybody in the pot, cover with water, add seasoning and aromatics (see below for what some of ours were), heave ho onto the stove and simmer "until the jaw drops off" (about 4 hours).
|Check. Everybody into the pot ...|
|Check. Paint cans ...|
|Check. Stand on them, see what's up ...|
|Check. All is well ...|
|Check. A big pile of awesome ...|
You know, after giving it some thought I am going to write another post for the Cotechino and Italian sausage. This will be way too long if I continue. What I will aim for is another post tomorrow for all of you eager sausage makers who want to make a last minute Easter bid to impress your friends with your stupendous sausage making skills. Ahem.
**For spices and aromatics we used the following: Salt, pepper, vinegar (a healthy amount), whole onions, whole garlic gloves, bay leaves, thyme, cloves and juniper berries.**