The Best Slice of Charcuterie Comes Out of a Whole Pig’s Head — Prime Time


(upbeat music) – Today on “Prime Time.”
– On “Prime Time.” Hey, that worked.
– Jinx. – We’re a whole-animal butcher shop. We have a problem every single week. What are we gonna do with the pig heads? This is one option. The best option. – I think it’s the best option. – Porchetta di testa. – Here we go. Let’s make a porchetta di testa. There’s a lot of value in a pig head. The porchetta di testa takes
everything on the head. It’s all the textures, all the fats, all the
flavors, all the muscles, rolls them into one, cook them as one, and then you slice it thin like you would any other
piece of charcuterie. It’s pretty unique. You don’t get to see it much outside of whole-animal butcher shops. – We have a charcuterie case, so we make a lot of different stuff, and when people put together
charcuterie platters, it’s like, you always have salami, you always have prosciutto, okay.
– Yawn. – What else can you put on there? – So, let’s make it and show you what a pig
head can actually be. – Get to it, Ben. So the first step is
to take the cheeks off. The cheek is the whole jowl, so we will need to clean this up. There are a ton of glands in the head. We’re gonna want to get
rid of all of these. This is gonna be the majority of the porchetta di testa itself. You’ll see once we clean it up the jowl itself is a ton of fat, which you can make other
really amazing things from. This is a cured, dried pork jowl. There’s a little bit of
meat running through it, but it’s predominantly fat. It’s another really great
muscle that you can cure, like pancetta, which is pork belly, and use for numerous
things, mostly pastas, but it’s a more pillowy
fat than the belly is. Pig ears. Super delicious, all collagen. You can braise them for a long time, slice them thin, and then pan fry them. They’re really awesome if you’re into the collagenous texture. Not incredibly popular
in the United States. Very popular in the rest of the world. – I think you’ll find a thing
that we say over and over is it’s not popular in the U.S., but it’s popular everywhere
else in the world, and those tend to be the most tasty parts. – Exactly. – Just a heads-up. We’re pretty much at the point where we’re gonna start working
on the back of the head now and start working towards the snout, which is where we want to end up. – Pigs in general, prized for charcuterie. You can make a whole range
of value-added items from the entire pig. Pig head can be made into head cheese. You can take this entire head, slowly cook it down in a large pot, shake off all the meat. It has enough collagen
in it just of itself that you can make a pate
that you can slice and fry. It’s not something that you
would specifically seek out with, say, beef or lamb. Lamb heads are popular in the Middle East. They’re not super meaty, not as much meat as you’re
gonna get off the pig head. Beef heads are gnarly. They’re really, really big, and really the only usable
meat that you can get off it is the cheek itself. Beef cheeks are fantastic, but there are a ton of other large glands that you can’t particularly use. – Brent, I got a tongue for
ya and I got a face for ya. I imagine we want to get
rid of some of these hairs. – Yeah, let’s shave her. – All right. Would you like the honors? – [Brent] Sure. – The tongue is going to get put into the porchetta di testa. Kind of the great thing about this item is that you are using everything, so the tongue will get cured
along with everything else then wrapped in the middle so you get this nice inlay of tongue meat. It’s a pig head. Yay. – All right, so we do
need to clean this up a little bit more, give her a nice rinse. If you have the time, a
24-hour brine is always nice. A light brine will make
anything that is barnyardy a little less barnyardy. Usually brine our heads,
we’ll brine hocks, trotters, things that are really, really strong, just to get a little bit of salt in there, but to suck out a little bit of the blood. – [Ben] Let’s spice this puppy. – So we’re gonna do just a
blend of salt, red pepper, black pepper, fennel, and
a little bit of pink salt. – Pour it on, papa bear. – Getting it on there. – And we’re gonna put
this away for two days, and then we’re gonna come back and then we’re going to spice it with some garlic, some parsley, roll it, tie it, cook it, eat it. – Let’s put it away. (Ben imitates music) – Wow, Ben, I’ve missed
seeing you for two days. – What a wild two days. – All right, so we’re
gonna make our wet mix. We have our garlic. – Boom. – Rosemary.
– [Ben] Blam. – [Brent] Parsley. – And then some lemon. – Can’t forget to put
our tongue back inside. We’re also gonna put our ears
right back where they were, just like they’re folded in on themselves. We’re gonna roll her up now. – [Ben] Let’s do it. Let’s do it. And yes, it is as disturbing to look at as you might imagine. – Ready to start tying? So we’re gonna seal this,
get a bath going, and let her cook. – Let her cook. So we’re gonna drop this in
the water bath and bathe it. Watch out. (water splashing) All right, let’s turn this puppy on. (machine whirring) We’re gonna set it, forget it. We’re gonna come back in 12
hours and eat this puppy. Pig, it’s a pig. – It’s not a puppy, that’s gross. – It’s not a puppy, that would be– – We don’t eat puppies. – All right, is that technically illegal? Here we are, 12 hours later. Our porchetta is done. – [Brent] All right. Shrank quite a bit. Lot of fat on the inside, so all of that is going to render off. – It was a good thing.
– Smells amazing. – It smells like a pig head
that was cooked for 12 hours. – [Brent] With garlic. – [Ben] Yeah. – [Brent] Slow and steady. – Great.
– Oh yeah. – Whoa, that smells so good. Got a little bit of ear, got your tongue. – [Brent] Yeah, wow, all right. – [Ben] It smells really, really good. – [Brent] Really does. All I did was put this on a plate, throw it in a 300-degree oven
for literally 45 seconds. But we do want to bring
it up to room temperature just so that fat itself
has a nice texture. It’s a little bit more melty instead of being just
cold, gelatinous fat. We have a lot going on here. You can see.
– Yep, we sure do. – We got the ears, we got
the tongue, we got the cheek. So got the whole thing, I mean,
you could do one whole bite. – That’s what I’m gonna do. – Great. If you’re a monster. Let’s eat this. – Okay. – Better than I even remember it being. – Yeah. – So much fat to it, but the fat doesn’t eat
like it was on a pork chop or a steak or something like that. It is partially cured,
so nice salinity to it. Really just sticky, round, super filling, but not overbearing. – Still yeah, pretty porky. – Right.
– In a good way. I mean obviously the
head’s got a lot going on. A lot of those muscles
are being used constantly, so very, very impactfully porky in flavor. Just great. It’s just completely different, and you don’t need to tell
people it’s a pig head. – Whenever I put this out
with a bunch of cheese, I’m just like, “Oh, try this porchetta,” and they’re like, “Wow,
that’s extremely interesting. “Like, what is it?” And then you can kind of tell them. Get them hooked first, because when you’re at a dinner party, you don’t want to be
the person that’s like, “Here’s the pig head.” You wanna be a little
bit more subtle about it, even though the flavor
of this isn’t subtle. – There’s a dozen different
ways to look at this pig head. Something you can put just on
a simple charcuterie platter and/or any hot piece of bread. – Yeah. – Is a very good vehicle
for shoving this thing into your face. – Speaking of, can we
get back to that part? – Okay. – All right, see you later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *