Cabeza de Jabalí

The Spanish word jabalí signifies in English "wild boar", so it may be assumed that wild boar head meat was used in the past, however, today, pork head meat is used. Cabeza de Jabalí is listed in the Spanish Official Government Meat Standards Bulletin (Boletín Oficial del Estado, Real Decreto 474/2014, 13th June) as the product made from pork head meat. Cabeza de Jabalí is a Spanish head cheese belonging to the "fiambre" group of meat products. It is made from pork head meat, ears, snouts, lips, jowls, skins, tongue and is basically a head cheese (queso de cabeza). When sliced, or formed in mold as meat jelly, it offers a wonderful display of different meat cuts which are held together by a natural aspic (jelly). Of course, it can be and often is, made with a commercial gelatin, but this is an inferior product. In addition to different cuts of meat which come in different colors, for better visual effects decorative items such as red bell pepper, olives, sliced lemon or pistachios are locked in gelatin creating an interesting display.
Pork head meat*400 g0.88 lb
Pork jowls300 g0.66 lb
Meat trimmings, ears, snouts200 g0.44 lb
Pork skins100 g0.22 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt18 g3 tsp
Pepper, white4.0 g2 tsp
Cumin2.0 g1 tsp
Garlic, diced3.5 g1 clove
Meat stock100 ml3.3 oz fl
  1. Cook meats in a small amount of water: pork heads at 85°C (185°F), and pork skins at 95°C (203°F) until soft. Add soup greens for better flavor.
  2. Spread meats on a flat surface to cool. Save meat stock. Separate meat from bones when still warm.
  3. Cut meat into smaller pieces, cut skins into short strips. Mix all meats with spices adding 10% of meat stock in relation to the weight of pork heads with bones. The meat stock is the result of boiling meats.
  4. Stuff mixture loosely into hog stomachs or beef bungs about 12” (30 cm) long.Cook in water at 82°C (180°F) for 90-150 min (depending on size) until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 154-158°F (68-70°C). Remove air with a needle from pieces that swim up to the surface.
  5. Spread head cheeses on a flat surface at 2-6°C (35-43°F) and let the steam out. Place sausages between two boards and place heavy weight on the top. Leave undisturbed for 12 hours at cool temperature. After cooling clean head cheeses of any fat and aspic that accumulated on the surface. Store in refrigerator.
Head cheese was traditionally made with pork head meat, however, a person a city will find it hard to get a pork or wild boar head. What is needed is meat that is rich in connective tissue; picnic (front leg), hocks, feet, skin are great gelatin producers.

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