Fromage De Cochon

Hogshead Cheese

This excellent and tasty dish, simple to make, is vaguely reminiscent of brawn, but is far better flavoured and more highly spiced.


  • 1 pig’s head, weighing, when boned, about 6 lbs.
  • 1 lb. of lean gammon, stock made as in recipe for Pot-au-Feu, but with the addition of 1 calf’s-foot and a little white wine, mixed herbs, bayleaves, salt, spices and peppercorns


Scald the pig’s head, divide it in half, remove the tongue and brains, divide each half head in 2 or 3 pieces. Put to soak in cold water for 2 hours. Dry the meat, and rub all the pieces thoroughly with coarse salt. Put them in a terrine, cover with salt, add the gammon, cut in slices, a few peppercorns, mixed herbs, bayleaves and spices. Let stand for 3 or 4 days. Then wipe the pieces of meat thoroughly, removing all the salt, and put them in a large earthenware marmite, or a large saucepan, with the exception of the brains and tongue, cover with the stock, bring to the boil, skim thoroughly, and simmer for 3 hours, or till the bones can be easily removed. Add the brains and tongue later. Cook the gammon rashers in the stock for about 20 minutes. When the pieces of pig’s head are tender, remove from the stock, bone them, and cut them, as well as the tongue and brains, in cubes of 1 inch long. Now line a mould or large basin with the gammon rashers, put in the pieces of pig’s head, and alternate layers of the tongue, the brains, and the ears, press firmly down, and pour over the whole some of the stock, free from all fat (and preferably clarified). Let it stand for about 12 hours in a cold place, and remove from the mould.

Water is often used instead of stock, but the flavour is greatly improved when the head is cooked in good stock. Instead of being put in a mould or basin, the pieces of meat are sometimes tied in the skin of the head, and either moulded to a round shape, or to that of a long sausage.