Last weekend, I bought my first whole shoulder of pastured pork, and did my own butchery to make many meal sized cuts from it. Hooray!
The first thing I cooked down was all the bones that were in the shoulder with all the meat and cartilage that were hard to remove. The next day, all that lovely 'close tot he bone' meat had come off and I pulled the bones out. I ran all the meat, fat and liquid through a blender and placed it back in the crockpot with spices to become a smooth pork stew/soup.
I added some beef gelatin to the soup to thicken it, but I surprised myself with how well it worked. Too Well, in fact.
I now have a tub of
ummm Pork Pudding. The gelatin from the bones + the gelatin powder conspired to set-solid the entire portion I set back for another day. It is the color of cooked pork w/ green flecks from the peppers. I think it is DELICIOUS, and super satifying... but not so great to look at...
So, want some?
The second meal from it was pulled pork (mexican spicy) made over night in a crock pot and it was wonderful and a bit more like what I have already been making.
Cube it, serve it in a large spoon with a spring of whatever herb you think would best complement it. Call it an amuse bouche. If they like it, put a blob on the plate and let them have at it.
What temperature is it a solid at? I haven't ever used beef gelatin, but I often have meat jello in the fridge after a nice crock-pot recipe. It liquifies into deliciousness after just a few seconds in the microwave.
Dude... mail me some. That sounds awesome.
All I can think of is to add something with a lot of lipase in it to digest the gelatin and bring the water out of suspension. Can't think of any foods that do off the top of my head, so you might have to tap your duodenum for some juice.
EDIT with a practical solution:
Heat or a competing solute could help precipitate the gelatin. Add salt and boil it? Not sure if it'll work.
If you can get good quality pork, you can get trotters sometimes next to nothing. Then you can cook them to what Fergus Henderson calls "trotter gear" :) Here pork is very badly raised and even organic usually includes grain feeding, so i never buy pork, or chicken.
My mother used to make pig's feet, which involves removing the hair from the trotters and cooking them for a long time either in the oven or braising, then taking the bone scraps out. With all of the small bones and connective tissue, the result is pork gelatin with small pieces of extremely tender meat... similar to what you describe, and totally delicious. She served it in small bowls like Jell-O, at room temperature it was nearly solid, when chilled it was very firm.
I haven't had this for probably 30 years, but would love to have a batch of it now...
this is a dish still made in Europe, called 'aspic' in France , 'kocsonya' in Hungary, 'piftie' in Romania. Google these words and you'll see beautiful pictures. You can add herbs or sliced vegetable in it, just before the jelly is set and make it look more " gourmet". I'm from Transylvania (now a part of Romania) and we still male this dish and call it 'racituri'.
Add some bits of pork meat back into it, cook it with a little more gelatin, then place it in a loaf pan lined with wax paper to firm up. When you take it out of the pan, slice it and serve it with chopped onions, parsley, and a squeeze of lemon. Sort of like head cheese, but better!