Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

brawn a moulded, jellied cold meat preparation, usually made from a pig’s head, but also sometimes from a sheep or ox head or, in some parts of Britain, rabbit. The meat is lightly cured in brine, then boiled until it can be trimmed and boned. The essential feature of brawn is that it is made of gelatinous meat, such as is furnished by a head, so that when the meat is cooked the rich broth extracted from it can be boiled down to make the jelly in which the coarsely chopped meat is set. Brawn is usually moulded in a cylindrical shape, like a cheese; hence the American name ‘head cheese’ and the French fromage de tête.