Headcheese RecipesHeadcheese or Head Cheese

Definition: Not a cheese at all, but a sausage made from the meaty bits of the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow) that are seasoned, combined with a gelatinous meat broth and cooked in a mold. When cool, the sausage is unmolded and thinly sliced. It's usually eaten at room temperature. Head cheese can be purchased in delicatessens and many supermarkets. In England this sausage is referred to as brawn, and in France it's called fromage de tęte--"cheese of head."


Headcheese Recipe

PREP TIME: 3 HoursYIELDS: 4 (1 pound) trays


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

˝ cup garlic, finely diced

2 whole bay leaves

1 tsp dry thyme

1/4 cup peppercorns, whole

cup green onions, finely sliced

˝ cup parsley, finely diced

˝ cup red bell pepper, finely diced

˝ 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.

Headcheese Recipe #2

1. Ingredients: 2. First, clean the pig’s head. With the help of a saw and hatchet or cleaver, open the head and remove all passages into the head, nose, ears, etc. It is very unpleasant to run into a stray tooth or long, stiff hair. Be thorough!
3. Put head and feet into boiling water. Boil until meat falls off bones. Boil tongue in separate pot until tender.
4. Remove and separate meat and bones. Remove tongue and skin. Discard tongue water. Strain pork broth and return to pot. If water looks to greasy, let cool and skim.
5. Chop head, feet, and tongue and return to boiling broth. Add spices and vinegar.
6. Taste often and add more spice if necessary.
7. Pour resulting mixture into bread pans. Allow to cool.


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Last Updated - Friday, October 16, 2009 12:28 PM