• Does anyone make head cheese when butchering pigs? We use the stomach as the casing, sometimes it gels sometimes not so much, anyone know a sure fire way for it to gel? OR what are we doing wrong?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    kchick This was some information that I got from some of the salesmen here. Hope it helps and please post some pics somewhere on meatgistics (Bragging Board is where I’d think it would make the most sense) so we can all share!

    For gel you can use head, tongues, snout, and feet and skin to get the natural collagen and people still add gelatin to solidify everything. I am sending you a couple of recipes. I was told when you add vinegar to head cheese it is called

    Ingredients: (for 10 lbs)

    5 ozs. salt
    5 ozs. gelatin, dissolved in 1 quart warm water
    2 tbsp. ground white pepper
    1 tsp. ground ginger
    1/2 tsp. allspice
    1 tsp. ground caraway seeds
    1 tbsp. onion powder
    1 tsp. ground marjoram
    1 tbsp. ground cloves
    5 lbs. pork tongues
    4 lbs. pork snouts
    1 lb. pork skins

    Cure meat for 3-5 days in a brine made with:

    2 1/2 gals. water 2 1/2 lbs. salt
    12 ozs. cane sugar 4 ozs. Prague Powder No. 1

    After curing, place all meat loosely in steam kettle. Cover with sufficient amount of water. Place the pork skins in cooking net.Then cook for approximately 1 1/2-2 hours.After cooking, remove from kettle and let cool. Grind pork skins through 1/8” grinder plate. Grind the remaining meat through a 1 1/2” plate. After grinding, add other ingredients and sufficient amount of cooking stock to arrive at a finished yeild of 110-115%.

    After the product is thoroughly mixed, stuff by hand into beef bung or hog stomach casings. Place in cooler and chill for 12 hours at 34-36 degrees F. (If forming is done in molds, place molds in ice water approximately two hours to assist in rapid chilling.) After chilling, remove from molds and place on rack, properly spaced, in 38-40 degree F. cooler. Chill at this temperature.

    Head Cheese (2)


    1/2 pig’s head
    4 pig’s feet
    1 onion, chopped
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) salt
    2/3 cup (150 ml) vinegar
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground pepper)
    1/2 nutmeg, grated
    4 pickled sour gherkins, coarsely chopped
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground mace
    lard, melted


    Put the head and feet in a saucepan, and barely cover them with cold water.Add the onion and salt, and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer over low heat for two to three hours, or until the meat is easily detached from the bones. Remove the meat from the pan and bone it carefully. Dice the meat. Strain the cooking liquid.

    Combine the meat with the vinegar, pepper, nutmeg, gherkins, mace and as much of the cooking liquid as necessary to make a smooth syrupy mixture. Simmer it gently for 15 minutes.

    Rinse out stoneware pots or bowls with cold water or vinegar. Ladle in the headcheese, pressing it down well and filling the containers to just below the rims. Let cool until the liquid jells. Cover the surface with a layer of melted lard. Refrigerated, the headcheese will keep for about a month.

  • Jonathon
    Thank you, will try this weekend and let you know!

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