Traditional Head Cheese

American head cheese.

Pork head meat500 g1.10 lb
Pork back fat100 g0.22 lb
Pork tongues150 g0.33 lb
Pork skins250 g0.55 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt*18 g3 tsp
Pepper4.0 g2 tsp
Garlic3.5 g1 clove
Potato starch28 g1.0 oz
  1. The best quality head cheese is made from cured meats. Split heads and tongues are immersed in curing solution (salt and cure #1). The meats cured in this manner will have a beautiful red color and a longer shelf life. The fat does not contain myoglobin so it will remain white.
  2. Cure split heads, tongues, skins and back fat for 4 days in 16° Bé (60° SAL) cure solution.
  3. 16° Bé (60° SAL) cure solution is made by mixing 1.32 lb (598 g) salt, 4.2 oz (120 g) cure #1 and one gallon of water. Use 1/2 part (by weight) of meat to 1 part curing solution: 100 g of meat to 200 g (200 ml) curing solution.
  4. Wash all meats in cold water. Slow boil meats at around 200° F (93° C) until meats separate from bones. Remove from the stock and spread on the table. Save the stock. Remove meat from bones when still warm.
  5. Cut heat meat into 1/2-3/4” (12-15 mm) pieces.
  6. Cut tongues into into strips.
  7. Cut fat into 1” (25 mm) cubes.
  8. Cut skins finely or grind with 1/8” (3 mm) plate.
  9. Mix all meats together with spices and starch. Keep on mixing and start slowly adding meat stock (from boiling meats) until meat absorbs no more.
  10. Stuff into pork stomachs or beef bungs.
  11. Cook in water at 80° C (176° F) for about 90 minutes until meat reaches 68-70° C (154-158° F) internal temperature.
  12. Remove and partially cool in cold water. Place them on flat surface and press them down with boards with weights on them.
* do not use salt if meats were cured.

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