Here is the step by step process of making Coppa Di Testa or "Headcheese." For the sake of tradition, we decided to stuff it into a beef casing, which really worked out well. This Fall, I will attempt this using the heads of 2 does and/or possibly a whole neck, just adding a couple of pig's feet for the collagen.


Started out with a Berkshire Black hog's head, a few pig's feet, assorted root vegetables, bay leaves, rosemary and cloves.


You can see the amount of meat, fat and collagen contained on a pig's head. These Berkshire blacks are rather large, too.


Place the head in a large pot ( I bought a 50 qt stock pot for such purposes). Allow the pot to come to a boil. We put the burner on one side of the bottom of the pot so that the froth would bubble into one corner. Do this because you will want to scoop the froth. The froth is undesirable things such as mucus.


Add the rest of the ingredients.


The head cooked for about 3 hours and then we removed it (which, was very difficult, by the way -need some hooks for this task). We then carved the meat, fat and collagen off the head and chopped it. -eyeballs, tongues.... the whole 9 yards




We then strained the stock into multiple stock pots (definitely a 2 man task with a 50 qt pot). We then put half of the stock back in the pot and cooked that down until it thickened up (the leftover stock was frozen and will be used for some amazing gumbo later on -this stock is incredible!). We salted the stock to taste, which took quite a bit of salt. We then poured the stock over the meat -just enough to cover it. This cooled for a moment and then we stuffed the casing with this contents (definitely a two man job).


This went into the fridge overnight to congeal.


The final product came out excellent. We might could have used a bit more salt. Once the stock cooled, it did not taste as salty, so you really need to make it saltier than you think that you need it. The casing is a excellent presentation for the meat. We served it with a side of Boarshead Spicy mustard and pickles. Hot sauce is also good. This was a very traditional headcheese, but you could spice it up Cajun style with Red Pepper Flakes etc.

Overall, this was a ton of work, and rather intense work at that, but it was a awesome experience.
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