I made some headcheese to send home with my girls, hence the jars instead of terrines. This go around I brined a whole pig head split in half with three pig tails and a few ears. I brined it for a week because I totally forgot about it and that’s ok.
I threw all of it (minus the brine) in a pot with fresh water, some stock, a few heads of garlic and onions, and handfuls of herbs. Cooked that for four hours or so, plucked off all the meat, cartilage, skin, and chopped it up with the ears, tails etc. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Put it all in containers, pressed down, topped with the filtered liquid it cooked in.
Check that your liquid is the right consistency before using it by refrigerating a ladle full. It should be firm but not like a gummy bear. If it’s too watery, reduce it. If it’s too firm, add some stock or water. Wine is often used, but we don’t drink so I don’t use it. More detailed directions can be found online if you need numbers and measurements. Headcheese freezes well if necessary.
Any extra cooking liquid can be frozen in jars and added to soups, stews, sauces etc. It’s pure gelatin goodness – sweet salve for the tummy.
I often get asked what we do with our bones and skimmed off bits. Those get lugged out to the margins of our farm, offered in trade to the wild beasties that, in turn, leave our farm animals alone. Our compost pile also sees animal bones, but only the raw ones from butchering.