Silesian Head Cheese (Salceson Śląski)

As the name implies this head cheese was popular in the South Western industrial area of Poland known as Silesia (Śląsk in Polish).
Pork head meat*900 g1.98 lb
Pork skins100 g3.52 oz
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt18 g3 tsp
Cure 12.0 g3/4 tsp
Pepper1.0 g1/2 tsp
Caraway1.0 g1/2 tsp
Garlic1.5 g1/2 clove
  1. Wash meats, then slow cook in a small amount of water water until soft.
    • heads at 85°C (185°F)
    • skins at 95°C (203°F)
    After cooking remove meat from heads and spread it apart on a flat surface to cool. Spread skins and let them cool. Save meat stock.
  2. Cut meat into strips (7-10 cm, 3-4”) x (1-1.5 cm, ½-¾”). Grind boiled skins through 3 mm plate.
  3. Add spices and 10% of the stock (left from boiling in relation to the weight of the head with the bone) to the meat and ground skins. Mix everything well together.
  4. Stuffing materials: pork stomachs, 100 mm synthetic casings. Stuff stomach or synthetic casings loosely and tie the ends with twine.
  5. Poach head cheeses at 82°C (180°F) for 90-150 min (depending on size) until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 68-70°C (154-158°F). Remove air with a needle from pieces that swim up to the surface.
  6. Spread head cheeses on a flat surface at 2-6°C (35-43°F) and let the steam out. Then flatten them with weight and cool them to below 6°C (43°F). If there is no proper cooler available, cool them down to less than 12°C (53°F). Do not flatten synthetic casings.
  7. After cooling, clean head cheeses of any fat and aspic that accumulated on the surface, even them out and cut off excess twine.

*The original recipe calls for cured head meat. The split heads were washed and then immersed in 16° Bè (64° SAL) curing solution for 4-6 days. This gave the meat pink color. For most people obtaining pork head meat will be next to impossible so use different connective tissue rich meats such as jowls or leg meat. Cut meat into 1 inch pieces, mix with salt and cure 1 and place in refrigerator for 2 days. Then process according to the recipe. You may skip curing step altogether, however, the finished product will be in grey color.

Don’t lower salt amount when making head cheese. This product is cooked in water and some of the salt will leave the casing and will dilute in cooking water.

After the second world ended, there was a shortage of natural pepper in Poland and the natural pepper was often substituted with a double amount of herbal pepper (white mustard seed, caraway, marjoram, chili, hot and sweet paprika, bay leaf).

Garlic may be replaced with up to 1% of onion (10 g per 1 kg of meat).

Finished product: Flattened pork stomachs, 30 cm (12”) long, about 20 cm (8”) wide and 8 cm (3”) high, or round synthetic casings.

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