Pigs’ head pressing using Specially Selected Pork, mustard pear, pickled brambles, fermented blackcurrant leaves

Quality Meat Scotland


Standard Supplier 6th September 2017
Quality Meat Scotland


Standard Supplier

Pigs’ head pressing using Specially Selected Pork, mustard pear, pickled brambles, fermented blackcurrant leaves

With a selection of delicious Specially Selected Pork cuts available, cooking methods and flavour pairings are exceptionally varied when it comes to Specially Selected Pork recipes. Take a look at Pigs’ head pressing using Specially Selected Pork, mustard pear, pickled brambles, fermented blackcurrant leaves recipe below, as tried and tested by professional chefs - Why not give it a try? This recipe comes from John Mcmahon, executive chef at The Prestonfield House Hotel from the autumn menu at the restaurant, Rhubarb at Prestonfield. In association with Quality Meat Scotland. Photography by Guy Hinks.


  • Braised pigs’ head using Specially Selected Pork:
  • Ingredients 20 covers
  • 3 Pigs’ heads
  • 4 Sticks celery
  • 1 Studded onion
  • Bouquet garni
  • 2 Large carrots
  • 1 Tbs of white peppercorns
  • 3 Star anise
  • Terrine:
  • Picked pork meat using Specially Selected Pork
  • 1 Swede
  • 1 Celeriac
  • 2 Large carrots
  • Chopped chives
  • Reserved brawn passed through muslin
  • 1 Savoy cabbage
  • Pickled Brambles:
  • Ingredients
  • 4 Punnets brambles (Blackberries are known as brambles in Scotland)
  • 4 Cups water
  • 2 Cups cider vinegar
  • 8 Peppercorns
  • 2 Cloves
  • 6 Juniper berries
  • 40g Ginger
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 250g Sugar
  • 15g Salt
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Sprig thyme
  • 1 Star anise
  • Mustard pear:
  • 6 Pears, peeled
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 Cup lemon juice
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 2 Lemons, peeled
  • 6 Juniper berries
  • 1 Red chilli
  • 2 Star anise
  • 6 Cardamom pods
  • 1 Tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbs mustard seeds
  • 3 Tbs glucose
  • 8 Drops mustard essence


Braised pigs’ head using Specially Selected Pork:
Remove the ears then bone-out the head, discard the skull and wash the boned-out head. Brine the head in 1 part sugar, 1 part salt and 12 parts of water overnight, then wash in cold water. Braise the Specially Selected Pork pigs’ heads with the chopped vegetables, the onion, bouquet garni and water. Once cooked remove from the braising liquid then pick all the meat and reserve the brawn. Pass the liquid and reduce until gelatinous.
Cut the vegetables in thin batons, steam until just cooked then refresh in cold water.
Mix the Specially Selected Pork meat with the chopped chives and bind with a little brawn, layer the meat with the blanched cabbage leaves, the vegetables and then lightly press and chill. Once set glaze the out side with the brawn.
Crispy pigs’ ears:
Boil the pigs’ ears until gelatinous. Slice into thin strips and dry overnight before deep frying in hot oil.
Fermented blackcurrant leaves:
Wash then rub the leaves with fine sea salt. Put into a sterilised kilner jar and top with cooled boiled water. Add a slice of sourdough bread before sealing the jar. Keep at room temperature until needed, but ideally 1 week.
Pickled Brambles:
Incorporate all ingredients, apart from the brambles, in a pan. Bring to the boil and leave to infuse overnight. Pass off and add the brambles.
Mustard pear:
Remove the seeds from the vanilla pod and put to one side with the mustard seeds and the peel from 1 lemon. Simmer the sugar, lemon juice and water with all the other ingredients (excluding the mustard essence). Pass the liquid after 1hr and add the vanilla pod, mustard seeds, mustard essence and lemon peel then vac pack the peeled pears and cook until soft.

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