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Gelatin: Experiences with setting food in it? (head cheese, aspic, brawn)

by (1634)
Updated about 20 hours ago
Created January 05, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Question: Any experiences with setting foods in gelatin, such as head cheeses or aspics?

Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consomm??.

Head cheese is not a cheese but a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow), and often set in aspic.

  • What is your recipe?
  • Tips?
  • What is the shelf life? Is it a good preservation method?
  • And so on.

While visiting Transylvania I spent several days with Hungarians who served me head cheese (diszn??f??sajt) with breakfast, along with other traditional foods.

Gelatin and meat. Perfection.

It was amazing and inspired me to start making my own. First version was simple. Left over stock with meat (not from the head) thrown in and left to cool. Next up maybe something from my homeland like Cajun Hog Head Cheese. Now to freak my flat mates out when I bring home a hog's head.


Disclaimer: Not awarding answer for links to random recipes unless they answer some of the additional questions above ;)

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1634 · February 27, 2011 at 8:23 AM

These would answer the preservation and shelf life questions if someone has pubmed access: http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20694926 http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17995684

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1634 · February 27, 2011 at 8:20 AM

These would answer the preservation and shelf life questions if someone has pubmed access: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20694926 [test](http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17995684)

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1634 · February 27, 2011 at 8:19 AM

These would answer the preservation and shelf life questions if someone has pubmed access: http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20694926 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17995684](Effect of a gelatin coating on the shelf life of fresh meat.)

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1634 · February 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

This would answer the preservation and shelf life questions if someone has pubmed access: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20694926

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1634 · February 26, 2011 at 7:33 PM

**Nice!** I'll make sure to try the Polish versions while cycling across Poland this year.

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1600 · January 23, 2011 at 10:15 PM

I remember from pig pickings as a child that the best meat is on the head.My other half,though, saw a hog'ss head at the grocery store and asked me'What the (bleep) is that?"When I told him,he turned several shades of white and walked off.Guess I'll have to wait until he's out of town on business :)

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78422 · January 09, 2011 at 4:27 PM

I just cooked half a pig's head for the three dogs I feed down here in Mexico. I did it in the crockpot and when it was tender I picked all the meat out (including the brains, ear and eyeball) and chopped it all up. I tried a couple of bites and it was delicious so I may do one for us minus the brains and eyeball- just don't want to go there! Ear can go to the dogs too.

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1634 · January 09, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Nice. I haven't found a head yet, but if I do I'm sure my flat mates will freak. Getting plenty of gelatin from pig trotters (feet) then using whatever meat I have on hand.

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1781 · January 09, 2011 at 6:26 AM

Damn, I just turned down a pigs head from my friendly local butcher yesterday. He only wanted $3.50 for it too but I had no room for it and no idea what to do with it either,,, till now.

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2 Answers

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4896 · February 26, 2011 at 6:48 PM

So that's the English for Polish "salceson"! It was quite popular when I was a kid, very often the cheap, the only available meat product. I don't remember it that fondly, as often it was simply made with whatever pig leftovers they had at the factory... so you had to watch out for pieces of cartilage or... pieces of hairy ears ;-)

But then you could also find a good quality, especially made of tongues... so good!

It's also quite popular in Poland to make pig feet "jelly", simply cook some kind of bony and full of cartilage meat (fish work as well) with favorite spices, herbs, veggies. Then clear the liquid well (through cheese cloth or similar). In a small bowl pour a bit of the liquid on the bottom and wait a bit till it settles. then put whatever you want on - slices of boiled egg, cooked veggies, pieces of meat etc. and pour the rest of the liquid. Eat cooled, with vinegar pour over it (that's how we were eating it, best ever!).

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1634 · February 26, 2011 at 7:33 PM

**Nice!** I'll make sure to try the Polish versions while cycling across Poland this year.

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7063 · January 09, 2011 at 8:14 PM

If 'Head Cheese' is the same as 'Pork Brawn', then here is a recipe developed from my favourite "head to tail" chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall:

http://farmingfriends.com/pork-brawn-recipe/

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