Head Cheese

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes 18½″ slices or



Appears in

Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook

Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook

By Nell B. Nichols

Published 1972

  • About

Hominy is a great escort for this


  • 1 pig’s or calf’s head
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 celery tops
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Ground red pepper
  • Rubbed sage
  • Ground nutmeg (optional)


  • Clean head, removing snout and reserving tongue and brains. Scrub well and place in large kettle. Cover with water; add onion, stuck with cloves, and tongue. Tie celery, parsley, carrot, bay leaf and peppercorns in cheesecloth and drop into kettle. Add salt.
  • Bring to boil, skim carefully and simmer slowly about 4 hours, or until meat is tender and falls easily from bones. Remove tongue from water after it has cooked 1½ hours.
  • Lift head onto a large platter. Strain and reserve liquid in kettle. Remove all rind from head; cut the meat and tongue, skin removed and excess tissue from root end, trimmed, into tiny pieces. (Some women like to put meat through food chopper.) Place in large bowl.
  • Drop brains into a little of the cooking liquid; simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove, drain and add to meat and tongue. Season lightly with cayenne, sage and nutmeg. Toss to mix well.
  • Pack mixture into 9 X 5 X 3″ loaf pan or mold, pressing firmly. Pour ½ c. cooking liquid, cooled until lukewarm, over mixture. Cover pan or mold and put weight on it. Chill at least 48 hours before using. Slice to serve.