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Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Paquita supervising author
cutting meat from head for 

her famous head cheese
Photo by: Carmen López
queso de puerco, head cheese. The Spanish version is preserved meat, consisting of scrapes from the pig’s, trotters and head, which are boiled, de-boned, chopped and mixed with herbs and garlic. The mixture is pressed into form of a small wheel or cheese and left to mature before consumed. The English version fundamentally is ground pork that is jellied by boiling pork hocks. It has been questioned if head cheese existed in the Middle Ages. Brawn, the forerunner, was a popular medieval dish in England. See falanges. [Hieatt. Ordinance. 1988:89; and Pers. Memories. Slaughters Mostoles. 2000:2001:2003]

for 10 portions


6 pig knuckles
1 pig neck
meat from the head of the pig
pig and cow trotters.
salt to taste
seasoning such as 1 tbsp white pepper and ½ tbsp nutmeg per pound of meat
1 bunch parsley
1 garlic head
1 tbsp white pepper
gelatin made from trotters
1 tsp salt


Photo from: Antonia Urbiola
Boil knuckles, neck, meat from the head, bones, and trotters in water, with salt to taste for two hours. Remove, strain and let cool.  Remove skin and meat from the bones, knuckles sand neck and discard the bones. About 7 pounds of meat is necessary for 10 portions.

Chop the remaining meat and skin and wash off grease with hot water, Put all this into the pot. Cover with water, add salt and seasoning. Mix well, Bring to a boil.. Reduce heat and gently boil 2 to 3 hours as per the age of the pig.  Add more water if necessary. Cook until tender. Skim off grease.

Wash parsley and put it in a food processor with peeled garlic, salt to taste and white pepper, Add a little broth and grind to make a green sauce.

When the pork is ready, remove from heat and add the green sauce. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Add 1 tsp gelatin from trotters per cup of broth and continue stirring,

Pour the mixture into a large, deep bowl. Press down to make a solid cake. When the mixture starts to gel, refrigerate for at least a month to six weeks.

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