After my previous adventures with Pea and PIg's Ear soup, I was left with a bunch of pork stock. Stopping at the Asian market on the way home and finding the world's smallest pork roast (costing under $3.00) means I'm now ready to begin my first attempt at a headless headcheese. I'm using a shoulder to replace all the meat that gets picked off the head after it's cooked in a traditional headcheese and suspended in the stock.
Salt on the roast and then a quick sear on all sides, followed by a good pour of PBR. My lovely beer soaked roast then went in a 325 oven for just under an hour and a half.
The next day after it had cooled overnight in the fridge my roast got shredded, I saved the cooking liquid which had solidified into a nice gelatinous mass as well and put it in with my older stock. Instead of adding brunoise of carrot, as well as chopped up bits of pig ear I decided to keep it really simple. Just shredded roast, some finely chopped parsley and some salt and cracked black pepper.
A terrine dish lined with plastic was the perfect thing to set my headcheese. First a sprinkle of parsley, followed by the shredded seasoned meat and then another sprinkle of parsley. I then melted my stock and gently poured enough stock in the terrine dish to just cover my meat mixture.
The dish went into the fridge to set again. The next day I removed my plastic wrap blob to reveal my jiggly headcheese. In fact my headcheese was a little more jiggly than I wanted it; ideally I wanted something that was more sliceable than spreadable. What I ended up with was something more spreadable, but it did have a nice pork and parsley flavor.
Even with its shortcomings in texture my headcheese still tasted good, and I learned a few good lessons. Reduce the stock further to get an even more gelatinous texture, and shred my pork a lot more to help with my texture issue.
My headcheese was served with a splash of vinegar, crusty bread and some dijon mustard. And not being one to focus on shortcomings I decided to have a celebratory beer along side my headless headcheese.