Photo/video in this guide are graphic. We honor them by using their entirety and pay respect to their treasures with nourishing cultural traditions.
Go to eatwild.com or localharvest.org to locate your nearest farmer that uses humane husbandry practices and soil-enriching rotational grazing. Obtain all of your meat this way.
This is a recipe from my friend Tolek, a traditional Polish chef, for head cheese with tongue. We used two heads to make a larger quantity but you can easily make this with one.
Here's a photo I took of dinner with some salceson we made in the past. The salceson is on the left on the bottom plate. It tastes like pork chops but richer, more flavorful and even healthier.
Sharpen your axe or saw.
Set these aside for another dish (see part 2).
First cut along the mouth.
Alternatively you can cut across the snout.
Cut your half in half and that in half again. If your head included jowls then chop those into similar sized chunks. The goal is to fit them nicely into the stock pot.
Be sure to set aside the brains to add to the salceson later or for another dish as these may easily wash away in the washing step and should be preserved for flavor and nutrition.
Wash all the parts well, running water through the sinus cavity. Some very fine bone particles will come off, discard those.
After the brain and tongue, the pallet (pictured) is among the most flavorful of the meats in the head.
You may remove the teeth, but we leave them in.
These are the tongues and will make up the savoriest part of the salceson in the middle.
Half of the bulb of garlic is for part 1: peel and half each clove and add to the water. Save the other half for part 2.
Cover meat with filtered water, add spices (3T salt, 1.5T ground black pepper, 5 pods whole allspice, 4 bay leaves).
Bring everything to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 2-4 hours covered or until the meat separates from the bone. Some of the water will evaporate. This is fine. Meanwhile...
Soak in water overnight in the fridge. This will be the casing for the meat.
When your meat is tender and easily separates from the bone, let cool. Place in the fridge (keep in the pot) overnight to let the fat separate and make everything easier to work with.
You can do both parts in one day if you have time. We only had 3 hrs per day so we split it up. The refrigeration step isn't necessary. It's ideal to fill the casings while the meat is freshest.
See Part 2: http://snp.gd/ta6ql6
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