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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cheese or not cheese?!?

Hogs head cheese is becoming a bit more popular these days especially with the Southern Chefs riding the Charcuterie wave. As an advocate of farm fresh local products I often find myself trying to creat recipes with the less commonly used parts. I, like the Farmers, have no desire for any parts or crop to go to waste. With this particular dish I am not trying to reinvent the wheel as this recipe has been fairly standard for years. Despite the name there is no "cheese" involved however the finished project after being put in a mold of sorts can slice or even spread like a few different styles of cheese. Without a doubt the big taste is pig, now with every recipe the enhancing favors can vary but none the less the pig is the star. For instance in my application I have placed a whole head in a stock pot with 3 gallons water and added 1 stalk celery, 2 cups garlic cloves, 1 red onion, 1 large carrot, 1 bell pepper. After boiling the head for 2.5 hours I double up the original veggies and add them for another hour to have the veggies in different stages when finished. At 3.5 hours the skull can be removed (falls of the bone) leaving the cartilage, skin, fat, veggies and water in the pot. At this time I drain 50% of the water out ( the less water the firmer it gets) and use the immersion blender to purée all the ingredients. This is a good time to add your favorite seasoning, hot sauce or any extras (I like adding beer at this point) you want while completing blending process.Now your ready to place the mix in its molding device (Pyrex, hotel pan, cake pan, ice cube trays, etc) so that it can be chilled for 24 hours prior to serving. The following day you may slice away and place it on your favorite chip, cracker, toast point or whatever application you have planned.

Chappapeela Farms Hog Head-July 2013-stage 1