Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Like to Call it Suelze

I don't know if I'm fooling anyone, but the German word Suelze just sounds so much better than headcheese!
Anyway, when we had the pigs butchered we got everything back including the head, heart, feet, fat, etc, etc, etc. so I decided to use it all!  (I was also donated extra parts from the other people that shared in our pig venture, because they don't have the stomach to deal with it)
I was at home today so I dug out some parts from the freezer and began cooking.  I looked through my vintage cookbooks and online to find recipes for headcheese, but found they varied so much in regard to spices and preparation methods, so I just headed out on my own (Oh! no pun intended)

If you are the queasy sort, you may not want to continue reading....

1) Boil  1/2 pig's head, feet, tongue and heart in the largest pot I could find in slightly salted water for about 3 hours
If it looks like an ear, it's because it is.

2) After boiling, remove head, feet, tongue and heart from water and place in a separate bowl.  I then put the bowl in the cold garage to cool down.

3) After cooling comes the time to pick through the items for the good meat and put it in the food processor and I chopped it rather coarsely.  I think most people would it a very gross experience, but I actually found it rather interesting (luckily I don't gross out easily).  Most of the meat is in the head and the heart and tongue just needed a little trimming.  The feet have virtually no meat, but rather bring the gelatin to the dish.

4) Place the meat into a smaller pot and ladled some of the first cooking liquid into the meat (about 4 cups - I'm not sure as I didn't measure).  To the mixture I added one chopped onion and approx 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.  I then added one of the pigs feet back in. 

5) Add spices - I used salt, pepper, a lot of sage and about 1/2 t of chili powder.  Boil until the onion is cooked.

The meat mixture being brought to a boil 


5)  Remove from heat and remove the pig foot then pour into a loaf pan.  Put in fridge to cool and set.

Mixture in the loaf pan

I unmolded from the pan and it was not a firm as I expected - more like a pate.

The Suelze turned out very good, but it is very rich so you can't eat a lot of it.  It is very tasty eaten with some crackers.