Pig adventures

Holian, Murphy, McLaughlin and I took a day trip into the Bronx, Little Italy the other day to pick up supplies for New Years. We picked up some prosciutto, olives, stinky cheese, bread, fresh pasta (awesome, btw), and ate some fresh clams, oysters, and sea urchin. And, oh yeah, did I mention a pig head?

Bronx butcher

How could we resist? Normally they don’t carry pig heads, but apparently someone who picked up a suckling pig didn’t want the head, so the butcher had it sitting on ice, as if it were our destiny to get it. $9.50 later, we had ourselves a beautiful head.

Back at home, we quartered the head and set aside the brains for a chef’s perk… Sautéed in butter with thyme and parsley, served on crostini. Super rich, ultra deelish.

The chef's perk

As for the head, it went into a stockpot with some quartered onions, a bouquet garni, and a handful of spices, covered with water and simmered for about 5 hours. Holian had already hit the wall, so it was my job to pull all the meat and fat off of the head. We kept all of the meat, a little of the fat, and put it int a terrine with some reduced stock.

By the way, we removed the ears at 2.5 hours, sliced them, coated them with mustard and panko, then proceeded to burn them in a 425 degree oven. Dammit.

Then, for the second failure of the weekend, the head cheese didn’t set up the way we had wanted it to. Oh man that was a lot of work for something that ended up in the trash.


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