Jellied Pig Brawn

German Pig head brawn

There’s bacon, ribs, ham, pork loin and then there’s Jellied Pig Brawn (or Head Cheese in North America), otherwise known as Pig Head.  Pork Brawn is meat jelly made from small pieces of meat found on the pig but mainly consisting pieces of the head.    The other components of pork brawn include ears, snouts, bones and trotters to give it more of a gelatin consistency.  If you feel nauseous or sick reading this article please stop now but if you’re just slightly curious about the process we invite you to read further.

The Pork Brawn Process:

The pig head is split open and cleaned but the brains are not used.  The brains and used for another purpose but the pig ears and snouts are fair game!

The pig head,ears, snout, bones, and trotters are then boiled with salt water until the liquid starts to thicken and become gelatinous.

The res of the liquid is drained out which leaves the soon to be brawn more jelly like in texture.    This process takes approximately a full day to complete.

At this point food coloring is an option (usually in red) to make the brawn appear more pink/reddish instead of the grey.

Here’s a Brawn recipe for you daring to try:

1 pig’s head
4 pig’s trotters
1 pig’s tails
1 bulb Florence Fennel, chopped
3 Carrots, finely sliced
3 banana Shallots, finely sliced
1 sprig Sage, chopped
1 sprig lemon Thyme
celery salt, to taste
1 Lemon, juice only
6 Bay leaves, for garnishing

1. Cut the cheeks and ears off the pig’s head and place everything, including the trotters and tail, in a large saucepan of boiling water. Simmer for 24 hours then leave it to cool in its cooking liquor.

2. Drain and remove all the meat from the head. Chop the meat finely and transfer to a bowl.

3. Add the fennel, carrot and shallots.

4. Stir in the herbs, season with celery salt, and mix everything together.

5. Decorate the bottom of a serving bowl with bay leaves, and spoon the meat onto the leaves.

6. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the meat and ladle in the cooking liquid. Refrigerate for 12 hours until set, and serve.

Thanks to The Good Food Channel for the unusual recipe.


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