Souse

Souse also known as Sulz is a head cheese to which vinegar has been added. It is a jellied meat sausage that is stuffed in a large diameter casing or simply as a jellied meat loaf. As most people add vinegar or squeeze some lemon juice into head cheese when eating it, so it should not be a surprise that producers add vinegar (5%) into the mix. This added the benefit of a longer shelf life of the product as all foods containing vinegar last longer. The reason is an increased acidity of the product which inhibits the growth of bacteria. Souse is similar to sulz but not limited to pig's feet only.

MeatsMetricUS
pigs feet730 g1.60 lb.
meat broth (from cooking pigs feet)220 g0.48 lb.
vinegar, 5%50 g0.11 lb.

Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat

salt18 g3 tsp.
pepper2.0 g1 tsp.

Instructions

  1. Place pigs feet, salt and pepper in a pot and cover with about two inches of water. Cook below the boiling point for about 2 hours or until meat separates easily from bones. Head cheese does not require much salt and a low sodium product can be made.
  2. Strain liquid and save for later.
  3. Separate meats from bones. It is easier to perform this task when meats are still warm.
  4. Cut meats into smaller pieces. It is easier to cut them when they are chilled.
  5. Now you can go two different ways:
    • pour your souse into containers, let them sit for 2 hours at room temperature and then place in a refrigerator. Keep it there for 12 hours to give the souse time to set.
    • stuff with a ladle into large diameter waterproof casings, clip the ends and cook in hot water below the boiling point at 185º F (about 85º C). A rough estimate will be about 20 min for each 1/2” (12 mm) of diameter of a casing. Then place at room temperature for about 2 hours for gelatin to set. Place for 12 hours into refrigerator.

Notes

Green peppers, pimentos or pickles are often added to souse to make it visually pleasing. You may add garlic, allspice, caraway, marjoram or other spices you like.

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