All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Headcheese
 
On the farms of South Louisiana, this savory jellied meat is made from the head of a hog. The following recipe uses instead fresh pigs' feet, tongue and heart, because these ingredients are more readily available from most retail butchers.

What You Need:            (To Make: one 9-by-9-by-2-inch loaf)
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  • 4 pounds fresh pigs' feet
  • 2 pounds fresh pig's heart, trimmed of excess fat and thoroughly washed
  • 1 pound fresh pig's tongue, trimmed of excess fat
  • 4 quarts water
  • cup plus 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons ( cup) strained fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 medium-sized bay leaf, finely crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • teaspoon ground mace
  • teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, preferably the flat-leaf Italian variety
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions, including 3 inches of the green tops

  • How To Cook:
    1. Place the pig's feet, heart and tongue in an 8- to 10-quart enameled or stainless-steel pot and add the water, cup of the salt, the vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.

    2. Bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile skimming off the foam and scum as they rise to the surface. Then reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for about 4 hours, or until all the meats are tender and show no resistance when pierced deeply with the point of a sharp knife.

    3. With tongs, transfer the tongue, feet and heart to a cutting board. Measure and reserve 3 cups of the cooking liquid. While it is still warm, skin the tongue with a small sharp knife, cutting away the fat, bones and gristle at its base.

    4. Cut or pull off the meat from the pigs' feet and discard the bones, skin, gristle and fat. Slice the pig's heart lengthwise into quarters and cut away the arteries and veins and any pieces of fat. Cut all the meats into small chunks and put them through the coarsest blade of a grinder. There should be about 5 cups of ground meat.

    5. In a heavy 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.

    6. Pour in cup of the reserved cooking liquid and, stirring from time to time, simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

    7. Stir in the ground meat, the remaining 3 cups of cooking liquid, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the bay leaf, sage, mace and red and black pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes longer.

    8. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the parsley and scallions, and taste for seasoning. With a rubber spatula, transfer the entire contents of the skillet to a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish and smooth the top with the spatula. Cool to room temperature, then cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the headcheese is thoroughly chilled and firm to the touch.

    9. To unmold and serve the headcheese, run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the dish to loosen the sides and dip the bottom briefly into hot water. Place an inverted platter on top of the dish and, grasping the platter and dish together firmly, turn them over. The headcheese should slide out of the dish easily.

    10. Slice the headcheese thin and serve it with crackers or toast.


     
     
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