Roasted Pig''s Head

Ross Jones

Ross Jones

12th January 2012

Roasted Pig''s Head

So I saw this in the German supermarket and thought, why not. For those who haven’t worked out the basic (and my limit) German, it was a pig head. Or half of one to be exact. For the expensive price of 1.68 euros, I thought I’d give it a little try. So picked up a couple of these and thought I’d see what I could find on them. To be honest, I couldn’t find a lot online about good head recipes other than brawn. The main one I could find was by Fergus Henderson at St John’s in London, whose mantra is very much, nose to tail eating. 
I adapted this slightly to fit around what I had and what I thought would be nice, and so here is the
 

Ingredients

  • 1 half pig head (mine was small, as in, not quite half a head, a bigger would be needed for a couple of people).
  • 2 onions (sliced).
  • 5 cloves of garlic (sliced).
  • 1 pack of smoked lardons.
  • Glug of cider vinegar.
  • Glass of white wine.
  • 1.5L of good stock (may need more, depends on size of pigs head)
  • Sprinkle of sugar (it’s a good measurement, I know.)
  • 2 leeks (chopped).
  • 2 potatoes (thinly sliced or mandolin’d).
  • Knob of butter.
  • Salt / pepper.
  • Rosemary & thyme sprigs (couple will do).

Method

Preheat your oven device to 180c. Slice your onions and garlic and chuck in your baking tray, on a hob on the top. Slosh in some olive oil and your lardons and cook until soft. Don’t brown them though.
Now place your piggy friend on top of the bed you’ve made him. (Percy, the mrs called him). Season him and pour in your cider vinegar and wine. Leave your wine out the fridge a bit, when it’s fridge cold it takes longer to bring up to temp. Same with your stock too, then pour this in as well. Season and add your sugar and herbs. You should not cover the entire head with liquid, but ½ to 2/3 up the head.
Pop it in the oven for 2hrs. If you have quite a big head (or the pig does, my head is massive, the pig’s wasn’t) cover the ears in foil as you don’t want these to burn. Mine had no ears, so I didn’t.
After 2 hours in, add the leeks and potatoes, the butter and then top up with some more stock to keep the liquid levels enough to cook the potatoes. You don’t need to cover them, but enough to allow them to cook. If you have foiled your ears, take the foil off at this point to allow them to crisp up.
This should be in about another 30minutes and then you are ready to serve.
Hearty meal there for you with some tasty crackling and juicy meat!
Inspiration for this was from Fergus Henderson’s recipe, which can be found here: russelleverett.blogspot.com/2010/01/pot-roast-half-pigs-head.html
In this blog, I didn’t have to shave my pig, it was already cleaned and ready. Be wary, you may have to!

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you