Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hogshead Cheese

The name turns many people off just like first (not me I don't turn people off...I don't think!...just the name of the food :-)). Not any more. Hogshead cheese used to be made from the head of a pig after butchering. Nothing at all was wasted. They boiled the head and feet, picked every last piece of meat off of the bones, added seasoning, then poured into pans to gel. The natural gelatin found in the bones (I believe) caused the mixture to gel up and it could be cut into slices.

Now local meat markets and individuals who specialize in making hogshead cheese, boudin and sausages make it from pork roast seasonings and gelatin. Everyone has their own recipe and everyone has their own favorite. My favorite was Taffe's. He made the best in my opinion. I just found out he moved to Picayune, Mississippi after Katrina. Too far to drive. So.....

My me and my 74 year old Mother-In-Law made her recipe. She and her family used to make hogshead cheese every year when they would butcher a pig. My husband remembers it very well. I also was delighted to be able to use the green onions, cayenne peppers and parsley that I grew myself.


Up Close.
And the sauce you just must eat it with! Crackers, hogshead cheese and pick-a-peppa sauce. Yum. Many people here put hogshead cheese out at Christmas time served different ways. I like it on crackers with cream cheese and pick a peppa sauce.


1 heaping tblsp of cayenne pepper flakes
2 tblsp salt

1tsp blk pepper

3 cups chopped fresh parsley

3 cups chopped green onions

4 Extra large onions (6 large, 8 medium) chopped fine

3 boxes of Knox unflavored gelatin (12 envelopes)

2 heads of garlic peeled and chopped fine

2 large Boston butt pork roasts (trimmed, deboned and cut in large chunks)

3 to 4 whole pigs feet

tools: 3 large pans (my mother in law cooked the roasts and feet in pressure cookers for 1 hour to save time) Skillet for sauteing seasonings, and a large pan for cooling and gelling mixture.

Method: Place carefully cleaned pigs feet in pot and cover with water. Place each roast in a pot and cover with water. You will not be throwing the liquid away. You will be using it for flavor. Cook the meat until it falls apart add liquid if necessary. (We used pressure cookers so no extra liquid was necessary). On the side saute onions, garlic, parsley and green onions until tender.

When feet is done, carefully remove all bones and smash meat (reserve liquid).
Place liquid and meat from feet in large pot, add roasts with liquid and sauteed seasonings. Add cayenne and black pepper and salt. Add Knox gelatin. Bring to boil. Taste to make sure seasoned properly. Add less Cayenne if you do not like it too spicy.

Pour into large pan to set and gel. Cut into squares and wrap in plastic wrap or place in containers. It can be frozen. Just thaw melt and cool to allow it to re-gel. It is also great served warm as a soup with crackers.


JeanSkirtGirl said...

ooo that looks good to eat is that for me sister kirsti hogshead cheese oh wait hogs anything to do with that no thanks i am fine with the pickapeppa sauce and the cookies we made lol but hey i am willing to try it one day will love ya i hope u had a great christmas i did love carmencita

Tipper said...

I've never had any-but would like to try it. Neat that you made your own!

Egghead said...

Both of my grandmothers used to make this. They simply called it head cheese. I don't have the recipe but it sounds much like what theirs must have been. Times have changed, huh?

windycindy said...

Happy New Year! I know that I am requesting these loofah seeds way too late. I thought I would give it a try, anyway! My 90 year old dad still loves to garden. He is wanting to try loofah seeds again this year. Many years ago, he grew them. I would gladly pay shipping if you have any of your seeds left. Many thanks.....Cindi