Headcheese

Yield: 1 Recipe

Measure Ingredient
4½ pounds Fresh pigs feet
2 pounds Fresh pigs heart
1 pounds Fresh pigs tongue
4 quarts Water
¼ cup + 2 ts. salt
1 tablespoon Cider vinegar
¼ cup Strained fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Butter
1 cup Finely chopped onions
1 medium Bay leaf, finely crumbled
1 teaspoon Ground sage
¼ teaspoon Ground mace
½ teaspoon Cayenne
1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup Finely chopped scallions,
\N \N Including 3\" of green tops

Note: On the farms of South Louisianna, this savor jellied meat is made from the head of a hog. The following recipe uses instead fresh pigs feet, tongue and heart, because these ingredietns are more readily available from most retail butchers.

Place the pigs feet, heart and tongue in an 8-10 qt. enameled or stainless steel pot and add the water, ¼ c. of the salt, the vinegar and 1 T. of the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile skimming off the foam and scum as they rise to the surface.

Then reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for about 4 hours, or until all the meats are tender and show no resistance when pierced deeply with the point of a sharp knife.

With tongs, transfer the tongue, feet and heart to a cutting board.

Measure and reserve 3½ c. of the cooking liquid. While it is still warm, skin the tongue with a small sharp knife, cutting away the fat, bones and bristle at its base. Cut or pull off the meat from the pigs feet and discard the bones, skin, gristle and fat.

Slice the pigs heart lengthwise into quarters and cut away the arteries and veins and any pieces of fat. Cut all the meats into small chunks and put them through the coarsest bladeof a food grinder. There should be about 5 ½ c. of ground meat.

In a heavy 12" skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.

Pour in ½ c. of the reserved cooking liquid and, stirring from time to time, simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the ground meat, the remaining 3 c. of cooking liquid, 3 T. of lemon juice and 2 ts. of salt. Add the bay leaf, sage, mace and red and black pepper, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes longer.

Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the parsley and scallions, and taste for seasoning. With a rubber spatula, transfer the entire contents of the skillet to a 9x9x2 baking dish and smooth the top with the spatula.

Cool to room temperature, then cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the headcheese is thoroughly chilled and firm to the touch.

To unmold and serve the headcheese, run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the dish to loosen the sides and dip the bottom briefly into hot water. Place an inverted platter on top of the dish and, grasping the platter and dish together firmly, tun them over. The headcheese should slide out of the dish easily.

Slice the headcheese thin and serve it with crackers or toast.

Source: "AMERICAN COOKING:CREOLE AND ACADIAN", 1971

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