Sunday, 8 February 2009

First shave your pig's head.......................

Vegetarians look away now.
Making brawn is not pretty and is quite messy and labour intensive. It's not much fun for the pig either. Although it is hard work, it's completely worth the faff as it's a lovely, rich amalgamation of moist, fatty pork, which is set in a pork jelly, which you spread on hot toast or bread. I think it's the British version of rillettes de porc – and if anything, I think it's better.

Anyway, back to Pinky. Firstly, you need to shave the head as there will generally be lots of fine hairs on it's face, particularly it's chin. (I use a sterilised Bic razor if you're interested)

The ears are the next thing to be removed as they're not meaty and are usually quite waxy! (I usually crisp them up in the oven for my sister's dog Bertie) Are you sure you want to continue reading this?

The head is then simmered in a very large pot along with a trotter or two for about 3 ½ hours, until the meat – most of which is round the neck and in the cheeks are very

Then it's Hammer House of Horrors time. You can't let the head cool down too much as it's difficult to skin the tongue and also the fat starts to set and it doesn't mix so well with the meat. When all the meat is extracted it's chopped and mixed and seasoned generously with salt, pepper and ground mace. All the while you're doing this, the stock needs to be boiled right down to concentrate the flavour and make it 'jellied' You then put it into little pots, pour over the stock and let it set. This has become a favourite at the farm shop – mostly with older people as its a thing they used to be able to buy in the local butchers years ago.

I even allowed my husband Mike to have some for lunch with some homemade soda bread.


  1. And here it is! it looks amazing, maybe my next step up from the trotters is to get myself a pig's head! I feel a bt braver now...

  2. Oh, that's intense. Real hardcore cooking. I'm not sure I like it when the ingredients have a faces.

    Brawn is delicious though. the French have elegant sounding 'rillettes', we have 'brawn'. You can't teach style.

  3. AMAZING. Love the snout shot in particular :)

    Can't wait to try this myself at the Barbecoa #Brawnoff