Tête fromagée or headcheese or brawn or whatever it’s called in your locale.
I’m going with the French in honour of my French Canadian side. My daughter thinks brawn is the way to go, but she’s about as German as they get. And I mean that in all the best ways.
Regardless of what you call it, this flavour concentration of deep piggy delights all wrapped up in the naturally present gelatine in the pig’s head is a soothing, nourishing, convenience food that is a delight to the tastebuds and the body.
Never mind isolated, canned powders to get the benefits of collagen and gelatine when the full compliment of nutrients, measurable and immeasurable, are inherent in foods that deliver them on a boat of deliciousness.
Pig’s heads aren’t exactly a hot commodity. My guess is you can get one for pretty cheap, possibly even for free from your farmer or butcher. I have seven in my freezer. That would be the freezer that has become colloquially known as the “head chest”. Alas, as there is a season for ingredients so, too, is there for cooking. For tête fromagerée, that’s in the fall or winter when long, steamy cooking has the added benefit of heating your house and gelatine sets properly in the coolness of the room.
This one was frozen from last year. The last of the big batches I made and stored now all eaten. Now I shall begin with this year’s load.
There really isn’t any special recipe. My recommendation would be to start with a basic, foolproof one like in the River Cottage cookbook (a must have). Make it once, consider the flavours you’d change and tweak it every time you make it. That’s cooking. Learn basic techniques and then use that skill to buy you freedom to experiment.
Alternatively, if you want a more gradual approach into the wonder of this food but a pig head seems a bit daunting, there’s a great recipe on the UK Guardian by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall using pork trotters.
By the way, I own every last publication put out by the River Cottage. Their “Meat” cookbook is a luscious treatise to the wonder of well raised, well prepared meat that belongs in the kitchen of anyone that wants to learn how to honour these beautiful foods.