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Fromage de tête (Head cheese or brawn)

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Head cheese

Head cheese is a meat dish made out of the head of a pig or calf in aspic. Sometimes is used the head of a sheep or a cow. Head cheese typically takes the form of a large sausage and is served sliced as a cold cut. Head cheese consists of chunks of meat, fat, and skin taken from the head, of the pig, and occasionally of veal or sheep, that are “glued” together with gelatin. Head cheese may be wrapped in pig skin and made in the form of a fat sausage or put in a mold in order to take its form. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature as a luncheon meat. It can also be made from quality trimmings from pork and veal, adding gelatin to the stock as a binder.

Head cheese first appeared during the Middle Ages. It is uncertain in what country it originated, because different varieties of this dish existed in several countries. In France some of the earliest recipes of head cheese date back to 1656, and there are others from 1674 and 1691.

The head cheese takes several days to prepare. The first 3 days the meat is brined, on day four the meat is cooked, the other ingredients are added and then it is set in the refrigerator to solidify. The head cheese is ready to be served on the 5th day.

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References

What is Head Cheese, www.wisegeek.com

Tete, www.hertzmann.com

Head cheese, wikipedia.org

Fromage de tete, mylifeasafoodie.com