Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Brains are in there somewhere

 

     There’s a recipe from the olden days back when folks sewed their own clothes, rubbed sticks together to make fire and slept on buffalo pelts. Actually, my mom used to make scrapple when I was a girl and we had a gas stove. I think even then rural Americans were moving away from using every shred of a butchered animal from brains to tail. We only ate hearts and livers – never the other gag-me organs. I try to convince myself this is a shameful waste.

     Last fall when we ordered some pork I asked for the head, because I wanted to make this recipe. It was in the freezer until today when I brought it out for the first step in the process, which is simply boiling it until everything falls apart, pinching the meat from every little orifice, and cooling the broth so you can skim off the fat. It's a very ugly business; you have to be strong.

     Note: Denis saw a piece of skin with boar bristles still attached and was determined to cut it off.

     
     Saturday I’ll finish it up and give you the recipe because you never know when you’ll be so lucky as to get your hands on a pig’s head.  In spite of how grossed out you are, when the apocalypse comes you'll thank me.

13 comments:

kate o. said...

i'd eat it. ;)

omar and i visited our favorite miami restaurant one night and as the waiter ran down the specials' menu for the night, he paused and asked, "are you jewish?" um, no, we replied. he said, "oh, good, because we've got this really great crispy pig's head dish." ha! it was very good, even if it was just dressed up scrapple, miami-style.

Jenny said...

I thought when the apocalypse comes, we were all moving to Toad Hall....that would mean I would have to eat the pig's head, but I would not have to prepare it.

Instead, I will offer forth my expertise in making habenero jelly, and you won't have to burn your skin making habenero jelly. And, it will taste amazing.

I wonder if we could use my jelly with your pig's head in a recipe....hmmmm......

Margie Haack said...

Well, okay, then, Kate and Jenny, let's eat!

ManOfTheWest said...

I'm glad to see not all Americans are total wusses when it comes to offal :-P
Now, when are you going to make black pudding?:-)
Seriously, congratulations. I'd eat it with pleasure, but I must admit I'd hesitate before trying to make it. Not so much from the gross-out factor as just the amount of work involved.
Ian B

Sember said...

I have always been so curious about this, considering I have heard about it my whole life, but never tasted it. I look forward to "watching" the progress. Miss you much!

Margie Haack said...

Ian. Sorry, I must draw the line there.
Sember, I'll save some in the freezer for you. It's totally g-f! I miss you too - so very much.

Kerri said...

I'll be interested to see how this comes out. Then maybe you can start writing your next book, "Recipes for the Post-Apocalyptic World".
But don't use zombie heads or brains--that never ends well.
( Sorry, been watching too much of "The Walking Dead". As if there ever IS enough of "The Walking Dead")

Margie Haack said...

Kerri, Zombies? There may be a market for these recipes.

Anonymous said...

Nose to tail cooking at its best! No wonder I love you guys! Is scrapple the same thing as head cheese? After the fair, we should have two hogs heads. I'll need some advice.

By the way, there are other kindred spirits out there.
http://www.eatingnosetotail.com/

Greg Pitchford

Margie Haack said...

Greg, I'll happily share what I know. Which isn't much, despite my swagger. Thanks for the link.

Walking to China said...

That's our life at the butcher shop in China every day. Want chicken breasts? Right there next to the twenty chicken heads lined up. Next to that are the chicken hearts. The chicken you are going to eat for dinner probably was outside on the sidewalk a few hours ago. I did see a full pig'd head in the refrigerated compartment a few weeks ago. No mystery as to where meant comes from at all!

Anonymous said...

Come on sis you failed to mention we also ate ground cow tongue! with mayo, pickles, and onion on a slice of mom's yummy homemade bread!

Margie Haack said...

Oh, ya, I fergot!