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Best Head Cheese Recipes

Best Head Cheese Recipes

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Head Cheese Shopping Tips

Ingredients like olive oil, shallots, mustard, cream, stock, and butter will help bring French flavors to your cooking.

Head Cheese Cooking Tips

French cuisine is renowned for slow-cooked sauces, however a quick pan sauce will do just as well; after sautéing a piece of meat or fish, remove it from the pan, deglaze with brandy or wine, finish with a touch of butter or cream and voilà!

Wine Pairing

Most red wines, including cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese with beef or lamb (cabernet sauvignon is particularly appropriate for lamb). Tempranillo, dolcetto, gewürztraminer, or muscat for roast pork; carmènere with pork sausage; sangiovese, pinotage, or richer sauvignon blancs with stir-fried or braised pork dishes or pork in various sauces; syrah/shiraz, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nero d'avola, or primitivo with barbecued spareribs or pulled pork, or with cochinito en pibil and other Mexican-spiced pork dishes. Pinot gris/grigio, riesling, richer sauvignon blanc, or torrontés with veal dishes.

Head Cheese: What It Is and How to Eat It

If you like sweetbreads, liver, or any other type of offal — or if you are just looking for something new and delicious to try, you MUST add head cheese to your list. It’s rich, delicious, and isn’t hard to prepare. It’s great on most types of bread or crackers, and it will be a guaranteed appetizer hit at any event you throw!

Let’s start with the basics.

Traditional Head Cheese

Make Sausages Great Again packs an incredible amount of sausage making knowledge into just 160 pages. Rules, tips, standards, sausage types, smoking methods, and many other topics are covered in detail. It also contains 65 popular recipes. Official standards and professional processing techniques are used to explain how to create custom new recipes, and produce any type of quality sausage at home.

Copyright © 2005-2021 Meats and Sausages

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cubed
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 3 cups water or pork stock
  • 3 (.25 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water

Heat the oil in a 4 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork roast, and brown on all sides. Reduce heat to medium, and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Season with garlic, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Pour in 3 cups of water or pork stock, and bring to a boil.

Cover, and simmer over medium heat for 2 hours, stirring vigorously every 15 minutes. When the pork is ready, it should be completely shredded and reduced to a stringy consistency.

Dissolve the gelatin in 1 cup of boiling water, then stir into the pork mixture very well. Pour into a mold or casserole dish, and chill until set, about 8 hours.

To unmold, dip the bottom of the mold in hot tap water for about 1 minute, then invert onto a serving tray. Serve with your favorite crackers.

The Best Boar's Head Cheeses

From mom and pop delis to grocery store mega-chains, you can’t avoid the snaggletooth pig: Boar’s Head brand is omnipresent. At delis it’s often the fancy choice, at high-end supermarkets it’s often something in between—perhaps the best, definitely not the worst, more likely the middling choice. Affordable and consistent is what this piggy banks on.

Many people truly enjoy Boar’s Head’s cheeses, myself included. They’re charmingly inoffensive (hello, endless varieties of Cheddar) and vaguely old-world European (Muenster, I see you), straddling the line between the sins of processed cheese and the salvation of “gourmet cheese” (as imagined forty years ago in a Brooklyn boardroom).

Hands down, what Boar’s Head does best is texture, making smooth, pliable cheeses with the consistency of cheese food product but made solely of milk, salt, rennet, and enzymes—no fillers (Boar’s Head calls this “all natural”). When they venture into “fancier” territory, they inevitably disappoint. A yodeler dies every time you eat Boar’s Head Gruyere, sheep Seppuku every time you eat Boar’s Head Manchego. Looking for sophistication is a boorish move.

Your best bet is to stick with their classic styles and flavored cheeses. There’s a time and a place for everything, and sometimes the cheese that’s everywhere is as good as it gets.

Recipe: German-Style Head Cheese (Souse)

German-style head cheese, ready for your eating enjoyment!

A friend gifted me half a pig’s head so, naturally, I decided to make head cheese. It was already out of the freezer a couple of days when I picked it up so I had to move fast. I started with this recipe but tweaked considerably as I went along. The result is really satisfying—slightly sour (that’s the German influence) with a flavor profile built around savory herbs rather than the usual clove/nutmeg/mace. Makes enough to fill 2 4࡮ loaf pans—that’s a lot of head cheese.

Half a pig’s head, minus tongue and cheek*
1 1/2 T Kosher salt
1 ½ t white pepper
1 ½ t hot red pepper flakes
1 T herbs de Provence or Italian mixed herbs (I didn’t have any h de p on hand for the rub so used a packaged oregano/fennel/marjoram blend)
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 leek, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups white wine
4 bay leaves
2 T herbs de Provence
½ c roasted red pepper, cut into ½ inch dice
½ c cornichons or gherkins, cut into ½ inch dice
2 T white vinegar, or to taste
1 ½ t Kosher salt, or to taste
½ t ground black pepper, or to taste
¼ t crushed red pepper
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (70 g each)

Method: remove eye, brains and any visible yellow lymph nodes (my head didn’t have any, but apparently these can really foul the prep so look carefully). Rinse the head, dry thoroughly, then rub in the first four spices. Place in a plastic bag and cure in the refrigerator for 48 hours, turning occasionally. Transfer the head to a very large pot (you may have to hacksaw it in half to get it to fit) and add wine, onion, carrot, leek, garlic, bay leaves and 2 T herbs de Provence. Add water to cover the head and bring to the boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook until meat is falling off the bone, about 4 hours. Remove from heat.

My half pig’s head was a bit too large for the pot… fortunately, I located a larger pot after this pic was taken.

When the head is cool enough to handle, dissect it with your hands and examine the meat. The best part is the cartilaginous snout and jowl meat and the endearing, feathery ear. There will also be a lot of scraps of muscle meat and some fat. Discard the fat and cut the rest into ½ inch cubes, trimming off any spots of rough skin or bony bits as you go. My pig yielded about 2 lbs of meat, and that was without the tongue or cheek.

Meanwhile, strain the stock and return 48 oz of it to the stove, saving the rest for another use. Reduce by a third, to 32 oz. Add the vinegar, salt, black and red peppers and taste. Adjust the seasoning as necessary the broth should taste slightly tangy with a meaty flavor, like something your German grandmother might have made for you when you were sick. Remove a cup of the broth and chill in refrigerator then sprinkle on gelatin and stir to dissolve. Return this to the cooking pot and add meat, roasted red pepper and pickles and heat until it is steaming but not to the boiling point, which would reduce the gelling properties of the gelatin.

Pour into molds (I used the two mini-loaf pans I bought for Josey Baker’s Adventure Bread) then chill overnight until firmly set. In the morning, run a knife around the inner edges of the pans to loosen the finished head cheese then turn it out onto a plate. (If you’re the cautious type, set the pans in hot water for a few minutes first.) Admire your beautiful head cheese, then cut it into smaller loaves as you like and freeze what you’re not going to use right away. Serve a slice of head cheese on your deli sandwich, or present it with a dollop of mustard (preferably a grainy German one) as an appetizer.

*My pig was missing his tongue, and I had removed the cheek to make guanciale.

Pork Hock Head Cheese

Over the holidays I always look forward to eating a pork dish that is certainly an acquired taste. As a second generation Ukrainian I grew up eating head cheese at Christmas. Head Cheese is not a cheese.

The version I grew up with I think it can be best described as gelatinous meat – made from boiling pork hocks for a very long time.

While I’ve seen it being made a hundred times, I’ve never made it on my own, but in anticipation of Ukrainian Christmas, I decided to give it a try. I went to the Strathcona Farmer’s Market on Saturday to visit Alan at Irving Farms to pick up some fresh pork hocks.

Since my mom didn’t have a written recipe, I had to slightly wing it on her verbal instructions. This is what I ended up doing.

Sharman’s Head Cheese

4 pork hocks
2 bay leaves
1 Onion – cut into large slices
2 tbsp picking spices (best tied up in a cheese cloth)
2 tsp salt
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ cup vinegar
2 gelatin leaves
¼ cup sugar

  1. Cover hocks with water in a large pot. Add bay leaves, onion, salt, and pickling spices.
  2. Bring to boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cook until tender (3-5 hours) until the meat flakes easily with fork. Cool and save liquid.
  3. When meat is cool, remove bone and fat and chop up meat. I grew up eating it with the skin on, so I save that and chop it up (but this is totally optional)
  4. Place gelatin leaves in cold water for ten minutes.
  5. Mix together 4 cups of broth, vinegar, sugar, garlic and meat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Mix in gelatin. Stir, and pour mixture in a pan (I use loaf pans).
  7. Cool and refrigerate until firm. Scrape off any fat from the surface. Slice and enjoy!

Head cheese getting ready to set My brave friend Marc trying his first bite of head cheese

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Best Head Cheese Recipes - Recipes


Prep Time: 3 Hours
Makes: 3 Loaf Pans

After making hog&rsquos head cheese for years using the head and the feet, I think I&rsquove found an easier way. Give it a try!

6 pounds pork shoulder
1 gallon water
3 large onions, quartered
2 sticks diced celery
6 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3 packages unflavored gelatin
½ cup minced parsley
½ cup minced carrots
½ cup minced red bell pepper
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

Cut pork shoulder into 1-inch cubes and place in a large stockpot along with the water. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaves. Bring to a rolling boil, reduced to simmer and cook until the meat falls from the bone, approximately 2 hours. Remove the meat from the liquid and strain vegetables from the stock. Return the stock to the pot, bring to a rolling boil and reduce to 10 cups. Once the meat is cooled, bone and grind or chop it finely. Prepare gelatin according to package directions using 2 cups of warm water. Set aside. Add meat to reduced stock, then add gelatin and all remaining vegetables. Season to taste using salt and peppers. Cook 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Ladle the mixture into two or three 4&rdquo x 8&rdquo loaf pans and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight. Slice and serve with crackers or croutons.

Head On Shrimp Recipe

Shrimp with the heads on are incredibly tasty. Unfortunately Fresh Direct doesn’t carry them so I have to make special trips to the fish market to get them. On my last trip, the gentleman helping seemed pleased with my purchase and said, “Where I come from, these are the only shrimp we eat,” as he used his hand to flick away the other 4 types of headless shrimp they carried.

Cooking with the head and shell on in very flavorful, and the juices inside the head are so freaking good. You suck on them like you would a crawfish. Yes, I know, lots of sexual jokes are going on in your own head right now. I’ve been trying to be very careful about my wording so it doesn’t sound so blunt.

For a 10 minute shrimp recipe with an Asian twist, try the below if you have the ingredients in your cupboards.


Soy sauce (I think I put 1/4 of a cup)

Honey (a big satisfying squeeze, maybe 3 TBS?)

2 stalks of scallion just ripped in half

1-2 LBS of shrimp with the head on

Rinse the shrimp in cold water and pat dry.

In a pan, heat the soy sauce, honey, siracha, scallion and sesame oil in a pan till it boils and then throw in the shrimp.

Cook everything together till the shrimp looks cooked through and that’s it. You can take the leftover liquid and pour it over all of the shrimp. I saved mine and froze it to use as stock later because the shrimp juices have infused that sauce.

German Specialty Meats

Wurstmeister Mike uses Old-World methods and traditional recipes to make his award winning specialty German sausages that loyal customers have come to love. He selects the finest meats and spices to use for each recipe.

Braunschweiger, Liverwurst, Schwartenmagen (Head Cheese), Blutwurst (Blood Sausage) and Scrapple are all old-world German specialties made by the thrifty (not cheap) German pioneers. These pioneers used every part of the animal when butchering and created these wonderful traditional sausages many people still enjoy today. Weights vary per product but most range from 0.5 pound &ndash 1 pound packages.

We offer build your own of 3 pack, 6 pack or 9 pack of German Specialty Meats in our online store. These products must be shipped by 2-day shipping if shipping address is outside of 2-day shipping territory.

+ More About Our German Specialty Meats

All of the products below come with your choice of the following:

Blood Sausage (Blutwurst) - another old-worlde favorite, great for breakfast with eggs and buttered toast.

Braunschweiger &ndash ours is a National Grand Champion winner, very smooth, silky, almost pate&rsquo like.

Liverwurst &ndash similar version of our Grand Champion Braunschweiger, except course ground for added definition. Great with crackers and cheese for a snack.

Pork Scrapple &ndash Pork, pork stock, cornmeal, added oats, salt, pepper and spices. Great warmed and served for breakfast.

Head Cheese (Schwartenmagen) &ndash A gourmet sausage, made from quality pork head meat, gelatin, spices, salt and pepper. Great on a sandwich with mustard and mayo and your favorite Wurst Haus beer!

Hot Head Cheese &ndash Same as our Schwartenmagen with added red pepper. Great on a sandwich with mustard and mayo, but you&rsquoll need two Wurst Haus beers with this one!

Watch the video: Trijntje Oosterhuis - Something inside so strong. Beste Zangers 2018 (August 2022).