Saturday, December 28, 2013

Brawn, Pork Terrine, Fromage de tête

On Christmas, some friends of mine rented a spit and roasted a whole 25kg pig. I took the carcass home and decided to try making brawn, also known as a terrine or as the French say, fromage de tête, head cheese.


The finished product is a very nice dish: meat that has been braised or boiled until tender enough to shred, then packed densely into a loaf with just enough stock to hold it together.

But as the saying goes, it’s best not to know how the sausage gets made. If you’re the squeamish sort, best to skip this post.


Loosely following a recipe at The Grubworm, I got to work.

  1. Get a pork head detached from a carcass. Mine happened to be pre-cooked on the spit and I needed a hatchet to get it off of the neck, but you may wish to buy one from your butcher.
  2. Carve away the ears and ear canals to keep wax out of the stock
  3. Use a disposable razor and shave your pig head – you don’t want hair in your terrine
  4. Add it with a heap of veggies and herbs to a suitably gigantic stock pot
  5. Simmer for ~5 hours, until the meat if off of the bones
  6. Pick out the good pieces of meat, discard the veggies, filter stock through muslin
  7. Reduce the stock
  8. Put a tablespoon of stock into a loaf pan and pack shredded meat on top quite densely. Add more stock if required.
  9. Chill and serve in slices. Great with capers, gherkins and horseradish.

DSC01966 DSC01971

Will I make it again? Probably not. While I like the whole idea of using the whole pig, “snout to tail,” it was a lot of fairly unpleasant work to get it to come together.

No comments:

Post a Comment