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A Recipe For Head Cheese

Take the whole pig head and give it good shave. A disposable razor works fine. Take out the eyes. Place the head into a brine solution. (Try a cup of salt and a half-cup of sugar per gallon of water. You can also add bay leaves, garlic, pickling spice — whatever you like.) Keep the pig head submerged in the brine for a few days.

Rinse off the head and put it in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes until the scum rises to the top. Dump off the water. Fill it back up with cold water and add some onions, celery, carrots and any other seasoning you'd like. If you have a pig hoof, you can throw it in to add to the gelatin. Cook at a bare simmer for 8 hours.

Take out the meat and bones. Strain the liquid, picking out all the meat. Don't forget to save the tongue. Bring the strained broth to a boil and reduce by half. Add white wine and a squeeze of lemon to the stock to brighten it up. Meanwhile, chop up the meat and leave the tongue whole. Thinly slice a few stalks of celery to add some crunch.

In a mold, place the tongue and the chopped meat and celery around it. Cover with stock, and put in the fridge. It will firm up, and you can slice it.

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