Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pig head two ways (part 2)

pig head
Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
Ok the second head I boned out,


much to my wifes chagrin, we had an angry skull.

boned skull

The edible portion though as a bit more agreable


I removed the tongue, I the removed the membrane and stuffed it back in the head.


I seasoned it with garlic, salt, pepper, and wrapped it in cheescloth and tied it up and let it rest in the fridge

wrapped porchetta de testa

I then unwrapped the cheescloth (3 days later) and retied it, and roasted on the grill for 8 hours at as low a temp as I could muster, (ballpark 200-300 deg farenheit)


The skin is very crispy, I tried to render as much fat as I could at a low temp. The meat is tender and flavorfull, better than the head cheese, with awesome crispy skin.

Pig head two ways (part 1)

wash your head
Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
I bought a share of a cured hog with my brothers from La Quercia (acorn edition 3), the first instalment of the organic berkshire acorn finished hog included two heads (I volunteered for extra if one was available), the trotters, the tail, the heart, ribs, leaf lard, and loin. I decided to make a head cheese with the first head and a porchetta de testa with the second. This is the tale of the first head.
These dishes were greatly inspired by the following videos

Sky Full of Bacon 04: A Head's Tale from Michael Gebert on Vimeo.

along with other sites. For an interesting overview of La Quercia's acorn edition watch this...

Sky Full of Bacon 10: Prosciutto di Iowa from Michael Gebert on Vimeo.

We received a 70lb box full of pig parts

Acorn edition

Inside vacuum packed were the pig parts

Pig Head

I washed the head in the sink paying particular attention to the ears and nose

wash your head

I cut the ears off for a separate dish and wrapped the head in cheese cloth so it was easier to retrieve from the pot after cooking.

wrapped and ready to cook

the ears I braised in a simple syrup with soy sauce, for 2 hrs, I will then chop thinly and fry,


but that's another post. The wrapped pig head was covered with water in a large pot and two onions, carrot, garlic salt sugar, a bit of pimenton, black pepper, rosemary, and thyme and brought to a boil then simmered for 4 hrs.
I removed the head onto a baking sheet and let it cool, and then further reduced the stock by half.
No pictures, but after cooling I removed the meat from the jowls, temple, neck, and face trimming the fat and skin off. this was rolled in cheesecloth a bit of the stock added then wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the fridge to cool.
The next day we sliced it

head cheese crop

and breaded one side and browned it on both sides

Crisped head cheese

The result is an incredibly rich dish, fatty and full of pork flavor. It will benefit from an acid sauce, a chimichurri or other citrus based sauce to cut the fat.
The next head I am going to bone out and roast.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potato Soup

Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
My wife really likes potato soup and I make it once or twice a winter, it keeps well frozen. My recipe changes a bit each time but I don't think I've totally screwed it up yet.

I typically use a ham stock, this time I boiled 4 smoked ham hocks with an onion, 3 garlic cloves, pepper, and a carrot.
I made the stock the day before and the next day I cut up the ham hocks


I tried toasting the skin over some day old bread with only fair results (I was hoping for something like a pork rind but they stayed kinda gummy the bread was good though)


I boiled some russet potatos (I usually cook around 1-1/2 per person which guarantees a lot of leftovers)


I roasted the the same volume of yukon gold potato cut up with the ham hock


I put together the soup by pureing the russet potato in the ham stock with a bit of cream, then added the roasted potato, ham, and a big crouton from the failed pork rind incident. The result...


Sunday, January 10, 2010

La Tienda

la tienda tapas
Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
La Tienda ( has great products from spain and latin america, and they also have a retail store in williamsburg virginia. I ordered some cured pork loin,
Lomo crop

White anchovies


and some chorizo (not pictured). They through in some olives and marmalade which was a nice touch.
I would highly reccomend them.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spanish Deli

Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
One of our favorite eating venues in PR is Panaderia Espana in Isla Verde... for multiple reasons 1. the food is great, 2. we have been going there since we were kids 3. my brother worked there and 4. they love us there.

We had sandwiches and appetizer trays of ham, chorizo, cheese and bread

Panaderia Espana pinchos

pan y embutidos

Zulma y Manolo

Gaby y Manolo

Christmas in PR

Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
We traveled to puertorico for the holidays and spent it with my parents. Our Christmas eve dinner was roast pig with rice and beans, blood sausage, and salad.


The roasted pig and rice and beans we picked up at Panaderia Espana in Isla Verde


moros y cristianos

The roast dominated the table


We bought some blood sausage (morcilla) from a local vendor


and fried it up for appetizers


Hope everyone had as great a night.

cortando el lechon