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Tête Pressée (Rolled Pressed Pig's Head)

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Tuesday, 11 January 2011
List of viewable recipes from "The Art of Charcuterie" by The Culinary Institute of America

Recipe from The Art of Charcuterie by The Culinary Institute of America (Wiley, 2010)

Makes 1 Roll

  • 1 pig's head, ears and brain removed, cut in half
  • 3 gal/11.52 L Pork and Beef Brine (see recipe below)
  • 3 lb/1.36 kg mirepoix, diced 2 to 3 in/5 to 8 cm
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp/2.50 mL black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp/2.50 mL thyme
  • 2 gal/7.68 L chicken stock
  • 4 oz/113 g shallots or yellow onions, minced
  • 4 oz/113 g parsley, chopped
  • Oil, as needed
  • Ground nutmeg, as needed
  • Ground white pepper, as needed

Image1. Place the pig's head in a deep plastic or stainless-steel container and add enough brine to cover it. Use a plate or plastic wrap to keep it completely submerged. Brine under refrigeration for 3 days.

2. Drain the head and rinse off the brine with warm water to melt the salt.

3. Place the pig's head in a small stockpot. Add the mirepoix, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme. Cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

4. Simmer until the meat is tender, 2½ to 3 hours (you will be able to poke your finger through the skin when it is ready).

5. Meanwhile, sauté the shallots and parsley in oil until the shallots become translucent to develop the aroma and the sweet flavor of the onions. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

6. Remove the head and discard the bones, eyes, and eardrums. Peel the pork tongue. Strain the stock, return it to a clean container, and keep it hot.

7. Place half of the head, skin side down, on a 24 by 30-in/61 by 76-cm rectangle of wet cheesecloth. Sprinkle the meat with nutmeg and white pepper. Spread the shallot mixture evenly over the entire surface.

8. Place the second half of the head on top of the first half, skin side up.

9. Roll the head tightly in cheesecloth and secure with butcher's twine. Place the head back into the hot stock. If the stock is not hot, then reheat the stock. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

10. For servicing, remove the rolled head from the stock, unwrap the cheesecloth, and scrape the excess gelatin from the head.

11. Slice thinly and serve with sliced red onions and a mustard vinaigrette. The head may be held for up to 1 week in the stock under refrigeration.

Pork and Beef Brine

Makes 3 gal/11.52 L

  • 3 gal/11.52 L water
  • 2 lb/907 g kosher salt
  • 1 lb 8 oz/680 g dextrose (see Note below)
  • 7 oz/198 g Insta Cure No. 1
  • 2 tbsp/30 mL onion powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp/30 mL garlic powder (optional)

In a stockpot, combine all of the ingredients. Bring the brine to a boil. Cool the brine to room temperature. The brine is now ready to use.

Note: The amount of sweetener will depend on the type of sweetener used, due to the degree of sweetness. White or brown sugar, maple sugar, honey, and molasses are just a few types of sweeteners that can be used; you should taste the brine to determine the amount of sweetener you would like to have in the brine.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 January 2011 )
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