Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coppa di Testa

20130309-IMG_1674 A while ago I decided to buy 1/2 of a Guinea Hog from a local farmer. Of course, every part of the pig had to be used to make delicious salumi!
Initially I had intended to photo document the breakdown of the pig, I started out well, but then it just got too complicated and time consuming, it got late, the pig had to be broken down and refrigerated, and basically I didn’t do a good enough job to post it up here. So i’ll go through what I have produced and show as much as I can of the breakdown.
First up: Coppa di testa !

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 10.24.48 PM

20130308-photo 2 First you procure yourself a pig head, and preferably a helper.
20130309-IMG_1674Here’s the guinea hog head. The guanciali have been removed to make guanciale….obviously. The head went into a pot with water to cover, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, bay, clove and pepper corns.
20130309-IMG_1675 I let it boil for 3.5 hours. Basically until everything is just falling apart. It was gently removed and allowed to cook a little.
20130309-IMG_1680 Everything was plucked off the head and put into a bowl. Large blobs of pure fat were discarded. Skin and meat definitely kept.
20130309-IMG_1681 The meat, skin and fat was chopped up and seasoned as listed above and some reduced head broth added in and gently mixed.
20130309-IMG_1682 The mixture was spooned into a 100mm collagen casing, tied tightly and then pressed between two plates in the refrigerator overnight.
20130310-IMG_1691 The next day everything was nicely compacted and stuck together thanks to all the gelatin in the skin and bones.
20130310-IMG_1695 Sliced. It’s delicious. Definitely piggy tasting, but absolutely wonderful. Sliced  fairly thinly, but not too thin because it’ll fall apart, it’s great in a sandwich.

A great use for a pig head!


Anonymous said...

The pig is such a noble beast. Great to see you with a new post.

Anonymous said...

Love your posts! What a great way to use the head.

Scott B. Garrison said...

Love the post Jason - that may be a tough one for me to stomach (or should I say mind as the dilemma is only in the mind). I have not been able to get into head cheese yet but maybe some day I'll get there

In the meantime could you have further ground it up and turned it into scrapple? Would that have worked panfrying pieces? Just wondering on your thoughts

Bill said...

Nice work J.....Looks professional. You gotta be exited about how it came out.

Jasonmolinari said...

Scott, i don't see why you couldn't make scrapple by grinding and adding some cornmeal. I'm sure it would be delicious.

Thank bill, it did come out very well. MAybe a touch salty, but no big deal.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I love cured and aged meats, the way the process enhances the flavor profiles are incredible. I've decided to build a curing fridge in my home, so I've been researching methods of how to build one as well as how to cure meat. I've also looked into several temperature measurement systems for my fridge, but I'm not too sure how heavy-duty they need to be.

Unknown said...

Hi Jason,

Thanks for posting this. What did you do with the eyes and brain? And how much weight did you put on the top plate for the overnight stay in the fridge?


Jasonmolinari said...

i removed the eyes prior to cooking, and the brain was removed after cooking.
The weight in the fridge wasn't much. Maybe 1KG.

Audrey said...

wow how did you remove the meat without messing your kitchen?
it looks really yummy afterwards, came out less fatty than I expected. Thanks!

Unknown said...

fantastic...getting ready to convert my extra fridge into a dry cure box....just to make sure...the humidifier with build in higrostat listed in your equipment....does it do the complete task of the items mentioned afore? We already have the bypass to keep a higher temp in the fridge as we are home brewers. If so I believe that we are ready to start dry curing.

Jasonmolinari said...

Travis, hypothetically it replaces the hygrostat...i've never used it though so i have no idea how well it works...it should work fine though.

Anonymous said...

You said the brain was removed after cooking--did you include it or discard it?

Jasonmolinari said...

I discarded the brain

Noshvegas said...

What farm did you buy the guinea hog from?

Jasonmolinari said...

It came from Gra Moore at Carolina heritage farms.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jason,
I was hoping if you can answer the following question..
If you are using traditional starter culture such as tspx, in your sausage mix, can you directly go to your drying chamber (10 c, 80 percent humidity)and skip the fermentation chamber. I heard some producers use this technique to prolong the drying process with the added benefits of having extra beneficial bacteria added from the starter culture.Any thoughts?

Jasonmolinari said...

i don't know what the lowest temperature for TSPX is to multiply, but even if it is 10C, that's low enough where the bacterial colonization would be slow enough where it could potentially be a health risk because the PH drop would be very very slow.

So i guess the answer is, technically it may be possible, but there could be some potential health concerns.

Avi said...

Thank you that makes sense.

Redzed said...

Brilliant work and certainly inspirational Jason! I'm currently assembling ingredients for a Polish style headcheese known in Poland as salceson włoski (Italian headcheese).
Unfortunately I don't have a head but will be using hocks, feet and a beauty of a beef tongue. I like your combination of aromatics, especially the lemon and orange rind and will incorporate them into my salceson. In using a small amount of Cure 1 in my cooking broth I get a nice red colour that enhances it visually.

Jasonmolinari said...

thanks redzed. your version sounds tasty.

Unknown said...

Great Post!

This has been an inspiration to use more of the animal, as I have traditionally boned them out and discarded the heads.... I'll remedy this on the next one! Here in Gainesville (NE Georgia) we have been fortunate to harvest 6 wild hogs since August, from the area woods/mountains. The last one (160lb wild sow), and much of it was treated to the methods discussed in the Polcyn/Ruhleman book "Charcuterie". We made Salami Calabrese, Salami Diablo, 2 little Pancetta's (these are lean hogs) and we're putting the loins (cured like a Culetella) in the curing chamber/fridge today. This past deer season allowed the addition of a Salumi from some of the doe harvested on the last day of the season. Thanks for the inspiration!

Gainesville, GA