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Hog Head Cheese is a delicacy that tastes like heaven. It’s made with a ham bone, pork head fat, and saltwater. The long cooking process of this dish leaves it soft and almost melts in your mouth. It can also be served on cornbread or rice to get the full effect.
While it may seem challenging to cook it first, Hog Head Cheese is quite simple to make once you know the secret ingredients and steps.
Here are some ways to enjoy this delicious dish for every occasion!
This savory dish is traditionally served as an appetizer or side but can also be eaten as a main course by itself.
The common ingredient in Hog Head Cheese is pork head fat, giving the dish its unique flavor and soft texture.
Hog Head Cheese is not confused with boudin noir, which uses pig’s blood, blood sausage, or black pudding instead of pork head fat.
How to cook this dish
Ingredients for Hog Head Cheese:
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- one garlic clove, chopped
- one jalapeno, chopped
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of pepper
- 8 oz of hog head meat, chopped
- 1 tbsp of thyme, fresh or dried
- 2 cups of breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 3 cups of panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 egg
- 2 cups of finely chopped parsley
To cook this dish:
Heat the olive oil and butter in a pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Add the jalapeno, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute. Add the
Pork, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until browned. Add the milk and breadcrumbs to 1 cup while stirring to blend into the mixture thoroughly.
Simmer for another 20 minutes before you add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Combine the 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs with parsley (adjust to your taste). When you are ready to serve, hollow out the center of the stuffed cabbage leaves.
Top with hog head cheese meat and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Broil for only 3 minutes until golden brownish on top! Over attainable in less than an hour!
You can cook this dish using other methods. You could use a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or Crock-Pot for cooking it. Or you could use your oven at the lowest temperature with the door closed and then place the ham bone in the oven for hours on end.
It should be noted that cooking time will vary depending on how you cook it and how long it’s been since your ham bone was used.
If you still have a lot of meat, cooking times will be shorter than no heart left.
Hog Head Cheese can also be cooked as a healthier alternative to pasta.
Although this choice is also served at many family gatherings, it’s not exactly a community dish.
A deep bite of creamy, tangy, and salty flavors is sure to grab everyone’s attention and satisfy the need for a treat that is better for you than traditional fast-food cheeseburgers.
- ½ lb dry penne or other short-cut pasta of your choice
- 2 tbsp olive oil (can substitute with butter)
- Two garlic cloves, minced
- 30 oz peeled garden tomatoes or 1½ 28 oz cans fire-roasted tomatoes (you can use one can of each)
- One teaspoon fresh or dried thyme or oregano of your choice (optional)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese or up to 2 tbsp, less if desired (container labeled as “parmesan” actually contains soybean semihydrolyzed milk solids instead of dairy parmesan cheese)
- Salt & Pepper to taste (optional but recommended)
Two cups shredded mozzarella cheese Parboil 4 quarts salted smoked pepper hog head cheese in boiling water for 10 minutes. Slice the hog head cheese into ¼”—⅜” cubes and place on a roasting pan.
In a large pot, add olive oil, garlic cloves, tomatoes, thyme, and parmesan (if using) until the parmesan has melted.
Reduce the heat (you can also turn this mixture into “bruschetta potatoes” over consecutive days or fish out 30 or longer to freeze for an even quicker dinner for dinner later) by about 25 percent and cover the ingredients in a crockpot for 15 hours or so up to 8 hours on low heat (but don’t use your regular “warm setting” of 2 or less because that would do anything!).
Importance of these ingredients:
- Ham’s bone:
The ham bone is the most critical component of this dish because it gives it the succulent flavor you’re looking for. It also ensures that the meat stays moist by adding moisture to the plate.
- Pork head:
Pork head fat is one of the essential ingredients in this recipe. It adds a lovely texture and richness to this dish that has your mouth-watering when you eat it!
Pork head fat also adds texture to your hog head cheese, so be sure not to leave it out.
Another critical ingredient of hog head cheese is saltwater. The saltwater creates a brine that helps retain moisture and juiciness in your hog head cheese.
So, be sure to add some saltwater into your pot with your ham bone and pork head fat for optimal results!
And lastly, cornbread or rice are good accompaniments for Hog Head Cheese. They are great with this dish because they both have a nice crispness that goes well with the softness from the hog head cheese.
You could even try making some cornbread stuffing balls instead of using regular stuffing balls for an added wow factor!
Because it’s a delicacy, Hog Head Cheese is best served on the day you make it. However, if you want to enjoy it later in the day or the next day, you can place it in the fridge overnight. For breakfast or brunch, serve this dish with cornbread and grits.
You can also use hog head cheese topping for fried green tomatoes!
If you’re hosting a party, you have many options for serving this dish. Try doing this dish at your next holiday get-together or cookout!
For more significant celebrations like Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, try making a 32 oz jar of Hog Head Cheese to share with your friends and family.
Frequently Asked Questions
What temperature should you cook it at?
Well, according to experts, you should cook hog head cheese at around 210 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or until the outside turns brown. You can also cook this dish in water if that’s easier on your stovetop.
Lastly, how long will my hog head cheese last?
Hog head cheese will last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator and four weeks in a freezer if properly packaged.
It is served as part of a breakfast, lunch, or dinner and usually goes well with eggs or milk.
This recipe is hard to make and can be quite time-consuming, but if you are looking for an interesting dish to serve your guests, this may be the one.