Hogs Head Cheese
PREP TIME: 3 Hours
YIELDS: 4 (1 pound) trays


Many cooks today feel that hogs head cheese is a country rendition of the more classical daube glace. Though similar in nature, I feel head cheese is the by-product of sausage making such as boudin, and has been around for hundreds of years


  • 1 hog head, split and cleaned
  • 4 pig feet, scraped and cleaned
  • 4 pounds pork butt
  • 3 cups onions, finely diced
  • 3 cups celery, finely diced
  • 2 cups bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup garlic, finely diced
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/4 cup peppercorns, whole
  • 1/2 cup green onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin, dissolved

In a 4-gallon stock pot, place all of the above ingredients up to and including the whole peppercorns. Add enough water to cover the contents by 3 inches and bring to a rolling boil. Using a ladle, skim all foam and other impurities that rise to the surface during the first half hour of boiling. Continue to cook until meat is tender and pulling away from the bones, approximately 2 1/2 hours. Remove all meat from the stock pot and lay out on a flat baking pan to cool. Reserve 10 cups of the cooking stock and return to a low boil. Add all remaining ingredients, except gelatin and salt and pepper, boil for 3 minutes and remove from heat. Season to taste using salt and cracked black pepper. Add dissolved gelatin and set aside. Once meat has cooled, remove all bones and finely chop in a food processor. Place equal amounts of the meat in four trays and ladle in hot seasoned stock. The mixture should be meaty with just enough stock to gel and hold the meat together. Cover with clear wrap and place in refrigerator to set overnight. Head cheese is best eaten as an appetizer with croutons or crackers.

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