Mortadella Made with Head

I have a love of most things created with Pork if you have not noticed by the last few posts. I ended up with 3 pig heads that I really wanted to make a form of head cheese with yet not tangy where my children would not want to eat any. I had an oportunity to let them try Mortadella a little while ago to make sure they would enjoy it and although the primary recipe I have for this is out of Charcuterie By Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn calls for pork shoulder and back fat along with several seasonings that I am not fond of, it worked great as a frame work. If you ever feel the pull to try your hand at this art, I strongly suggest checking this book out. Anyway, we pulled all three heads out and basicly disected the heck out of them. My hubby made several “stacks”; fat, solid meat, Soup Pot, and finally done/leaving the house. While he got the heads all done I; blogged, rendered fat, measured and mixed what would be needed for the Mortadella, tended the children, etc..


I used; meat from hogs heads, fat from same hogs heads, back fat to supplament, white wine, fresh garlic, kosher salt, pink salt, ice, white pepper, ground mace, ground roasted coriander, fresh grated nutmeg, a splash of milk, pistachios, and a large pork casing.


We started off with three ugly heads the one up-above was the largest and had two strange “skin tag” looking things beneath the ears. With the help of Whole Beast Butchery by: Ryan Farr my hubby trimmed and cut till the heads were “used to the fullest” and off we went…


The large one had HUGE Jowels I mean take a look!!!

We then took a chunk of Fat and blanched it to fold in later.

Diced the meat and put in the freezer to grind later.

Diced and froze more fat.

Put all the tools to be used in the freezer while we soaked the casings.

Once everything was cold enough and the casings had soaked we pulled the meat from the freezer, ground it with our second smallest disc in the hand crank into a cold bowl set into a larger ice filled bowl to keep it all just right. We then added the wine through salts into that meat and set back in the fridge to site while we ground the non-blanched fat. Once everything was ground we dumped the whole ball of wax into the frozen mixer and blended to emulsification…


After mixing I hand folded in the pistachios and should have added the blanched fat but I forgot so it is still sitting in the freezer for next time it seems. We then opened up the casings and stuffed them to full and tied off.

Once the casings were ready we submerged the whole mess in hot (170 degree F) water and cooked till the center of these hit 150 degrees F.

Once cooked through we pulled them for the heat and slid into a sink full of ice and cold water to cool.

Once cool, we had to slice into one of these to take a taste and WOW!

All in all we ended up with 11 pounds of delectable pork yummm for all our work and even though this round did not have everything because I forgot the fat, it was well worth the effort. We did learn that my ultra amazing bosch mixer really would do better to do half as much at a time and that would have helped with the end result it still worked great and we look forward to the next round. Please let us know about your own charcuterie experiences…


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