Hog’s Head Cheese

Mar 11 2013

by Jay Ducote

Last week, I got a couple of pig heads from my buddy Galen Iverstine at Iverstine Family Farms in Kentwood, Louisiana. I’ve never made my own head cheese, but I listed it as a menu item on a creative pop-up dinner that I’ll be cooking on Thursday at the Tin Roof Brewing Company in Baton Rouge along with the Taco de Paco food truck and cupcake genius Christina Stephens. I challenged myself to make something I had never cooked before, so naturally I needed a little help from the experts. I consulted Chef Eusebio Gongora for some head cheese advice. Then Chef Chris Wadsworth from Restaurant IPO took me under his wing. I brought the duo of hog heads over to him one afternoon, and we put them on boil with onion, celery, thyme, bay leaves, and other seasonings for about seven hours. After they cooled, we picked through all the meat and fat, discarded all the bone and cartilage, then pureed the porky goodness. After checking for seasoning, we added healthy amounts of salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, and a couple other secret ingredients. After transferring the swine soup to a hotel pan, we let it set up in the refrigerator over night, and as the fat and gelatin congealed, our head cheese took shape. Now I just have to wait for the beer dinner to enjoy!


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