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Head Cheese I
Russ Myers, Necedah

For the Brine:
1 pig’s head
2–4 pig’s trotters or hocks
1–2 pig’s tongues
2 gallons of brine (1 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar per gallon of water)
For the Stock:
2 cups dry white wine
1 bouquet garni
4 garlic cloves
10 black peppercorns
8 bay leaves
6 cloves
For the Terrine:
Kosher salt
Parsley or other flavorings (nutmeg and/or allspice)
Brine all the meat overnight. Drain and rinse the meat.

Add the meat and stock ingredients to a 20-quart stockpot and add water to cover as much as possible. Bring everything to a boil and maintain a very slow simmer for 3–4 hours, skimming fat as needed, until the stock is very dark. Remove the meat and let it cool. Bring the remaining stock to a rolling boil until it reduces in volume by a third (about 2 more hours). Meanwhile, pick off the edible meat from the tongues, head, and trotters. The tongues must be peeled. Work around the bones and skin, judiciously selecting the meat and a little of the fat. The meat should fill one terrine, lined with plastic wrap, with some leftovers. Mix the meat with the parsley or other flavorings. Ladle the reduced stock over the meat to fill the terrine; salt the entire terrine to taste. Cover and refrigerate the head cheese overnight or until set. The terrine should be firm all around. Invert onto a serving plate; remove the plastic wrap; and serve with salsa verde, cornichons, and other pickled accompaniments; mustards; bread; and a salad.

 


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