How to Make Brawn – Head Cheese – Fromage de Tête – Meat Series 03

How to Make Brawn – Head Cheese – Fromage de Tête – Meat Series 03

Now before I do these videos I want to put the warning out there to
those of you that are with the channel but squeamish about meat particularly this
is going to be a pigs head recipe some you will not like it so I say turn
off now don’t watch this one come back when I’m
doing videos that you’ll enjoy if you going to stay you going to learn today
have to make Brawn I think the Americans call this head cheese and we going to be
introducing you to now turn away now if you’re not
interested the pigs head okay this is this is me thats the pig’s head we’re going to be taking this pigs
head and ideally you want to get your butcher to
cut this in half for you I’ve got two pigs heads one of them I’m going to be
making guanciale which is like a pancetta thats another video tune in for that one
and one we’re going to be making Brawn so ask your butcher to cut the pics head
in half or even into quarters if you like now
let’s get on I’m going to show you how to make brawn now I like to Brine the pigs head for 24
hours before we make the brawn and that is to give a sort of hammy flavour I do think it really
greatly improves now I use a plastic tub like this you
must use either plastic or ceramic don’t use metal it reacts with the salt
and will spoil the meat going to add one kilo of salt into my tub and then I’m going to
add a litre of hot water in there that’s just to allow
the salt to start to dissolve now you can do this on
the stovetop if you like into the hot water I’m going to add two
liters of cold water we’ll just give that another stir around
now three litres generally is enough to cover the pigs head completely going
to lift the pigs head now and I’m going to pop
it into the brine I’m going to add about another half a
litre of water in there just so they’re completely submerged now
I’m going to cover this and pop this into my fridge 24 hours
that’ll chill the water down and allow this to pickle slighty right come back and join me when its done okay it’s been 24 hours the heads have been picking
in the salt brine and we need to get a stock pot on now, I’ve
got my biggest stock pot here is about a 20 litre I think I’m going to put a
couple of onions brown onions some carrots bay leaves little bouquet
garni of rosemary and thyme I’ve got some black
peppercorns which I’m just going to crack up in a mortar and pestle before I pop them in and maybe a couple of
sticks of celery pop these into the pot come back in a moment okay so I’ve just
roughly chopped up those vegetables in goes the bouguet garni now we going to
get our pigs head pop it on top of that and then what
we’re going to do is top the whole pot up with water now
I’ve completely submerged the meat into the water and we’re going to take
this stockpot I’m going to pop it down for a moment take this over to the stove going to bring
these up to a simmer a rolling boil and just keep an eye on it you might
need to top up the water and take any scum that comes on the top we going to cook this for
four to five hours until that meat is so tender it’s going to fall away from the bone
come on let’s get it on now you’ll see that I had a lid on my
stock while I was boiling it I’m just going to take that off there now
but you can see it boiling away I’m going to turn the heat off now my heads have been boiling in there
for about four hours and I haven’t had to take much muck off if
you do need to just skim it off the top now we’re going to leave the heads in there
for about 15 minutes or so till they cool down and then we’re going to take them out and
we’ll be taking the meat off of there but this stock thats in here I’m going to clarify
it I’ll show you how we do that later but this has got so much flavour so don’t
waste it lets take it off the stove so it’s going to be pretty tricky you’ve
got to get those whole heads out of that and let them cool down
on the side now it’s been tricky getting the pig’s
head out but look at all this beautiful stock and I put the pigs head now on a tray
here I’m going to let this completely cool down when it’s cool enough that I can pick
through it I’m going to separate the meat and the fat in two different bowls going to keep
some of the fat for my brawn or head cheese whatever you like to call it but in the
meantime look at all that beautiful stock the smell coming
of there is delicious now I’m going to clarify that to a consumme or a clear stock by using the vegetables
that are in there and some egg white I’ll show you how we do that let’s get going so what I’m doing now is
I’m just going to get any of the vegetables that I can out of this
stock lift them up pop them into this bowl I’ve separated the
bouguet garni I’ll be taking the Bay leaves out of there as well I just want the vegetables
in there now bear with me here because some of the
basic principles for making a consomme I’m going to be using but it might be a
little bit abstract come down here got all the vegetables out and I want to actually chop these
up or mash them till they’re like a almost a puree now
they’ve started to cool down as well there’s a little bit of herb in there as
well it really doesn’t matter what we’re doing is creating some solids
that we can build a raft with to float on top of our stock I’ve got three egg whites
here and this is cool down a bit so they
shouldn’t cook off I’m going to pop the egg whites in there and whisk it through with my vegetables and then what we going to do is pop that
back in our stock give that a good whisk through and we’re going to
take that over to the stove and start to reheat it
what’s going to happen is the solids are going to float to the top and they’re going to create the sort
rafter floating raft and start to clarify our stock come on back to the stove so I want to bring this back up to the
heat I’m just gently stirring it through as I do so and the egg whites and the solids in
there are going to start to draw together so I’ll try and explain what’s happening here
we’ve got this on a simmer I don’t know if you can see a little bit of
motion in the water there it’s not quite a boil but it’s simmering and every now and
again some of the solids are coming up and creating a raft on the top it’s nowhere near ready yet
but over about 20-minutes to 30-minutes all the solids are
going to come to the top and then we’re going to use
a ladle and we’re going to break a little hole in the center of the raft let all the final solids come up
through and underneath is going to be this wonderful clear consomme or stock that’s beautiful and
clear so now you can see the raft has formed on
the top here I’ve got that beautiful hole there in the center the raft is nice and solid
so what I’m going to be doing now is skimming the center and basting over the top of the raft
until we get a wonderfully clear consomme in the centre I mean
already now it’s starting to get pretty clear so it is a little extra work but truly trust me this makes such a great
stock it’s worth it so if you come over here you can see now
there’s a lovely hole there the stock in the center is pretty clear
as clear as I want it to be what I’m going to be doing now is
drawing that out I’ve got another pan over here I’m going to be using a sieve but
I’m actually going to put some cotton in here as well you could use some Muslim
but fine cotton is ideal and what we going to be doing come back
over here just look in there I’m going to be drawing all that clear stock out of the center and lifting it over and just pouring it
through the cotton so that’s going to take me a little
while come back you can see me when I’ve finished now what you going to end up with
is this wonderful beautiful clear stock and that will make
great soups I’m going to reduce it down I’m going to
boil it down a little bit further so that I can freeze some of these as well
but this is going to be fantastic it’s going to be fantastic in our brawn or
head cheese as well so let’s get on now I’ve taken all the meat and
the good stuff away from the bone I’ve got two big bowls here
this one is a much fattier content this one is a leaner meat now I’ll be honest a lot in the family
like the leaner so I’m going to concentrate on this one at the moment got my consomme here that beautiful
stock which is going to be perfect for binding it
altogether now I’m going to be using loaf tin to set my brawn in I’ve
lined it with a little bit of plastic wrap that will keep it all together but you
could use nice earthenware terrine pots like this so now I want to get a little bit of seasoning into here
I’m just going to take a half a lemon and squeeze the juice of that lemon into
the meat just use a fork to get that juice
out of there just make sure the pips don’t go in now I’m going to take a little bit of this brine
just pour it over the meat going to season it with a little bit of salt
and pepper a fair bit of black pepper and then fresh parsley from the garden I’m just going to chop this parsley up so
let’s just take that parsley and pop it in there maybe a little extra of that stock again now I’m just going to take a fork and
combine the ingredients together and don’t forget I’ve already cut these meats
up into small pieces or shredded them now let’s just take that meat and pop it
in to our loaf tin now I’m just pushing all the meat
down with the back of my fork and we are
going to press this in a moment now let’s take that wonderful stock and
start to pour it in there this is going to be binding the
whole Brawn together so you can see I’ve completely saturated the
meats there what I’m going to do now is just bring
over that plastic wrap now I want to weight this
down while it sets so I’ve got another loaf tin exactly the same size going to pop it on top I may fill it with
water that is going to go in the fridge until it’s completely set
going to but a little parsley decoration on the top come back and I’ll show you what I’m
doing now a quick news flash I decided this loaf tin was
too big for my Brawn actually it only came up to about there I
wanted something deeper so I took it out and popped it into a slightly smaller
loaf tin and you can see it set beautifully in
there now so I’m going to take this one out we’re going to take a look at it I’ll pop it down onto a wooden board
hopefully it won’t be too difficult to ease out of
there there you go It is coming out and there I can reveal
to you wow that looks absolutely beautiful its set perfectly I’m really really pleased with the way that is set
now I’ve got myself a knife I’m just going to get this and cut it through it’s a little bit cold still bring the Knife all
the way through there and just take a look at what we’ve got
there doesn’t that look fantastic so how are we going to serve this well I like to
treat this a little bit like a rillettes like a pate have it on toast some people slice it up and they fry it but I can tell you just
as it’s going to taste delicious so there you have it
there is my take on Brawn I hope you’ve enjoyed it I know it’s also called head cheese it’s not
my favorite word in the world but anyway an important point if you
going to give this a go make sure you get good pork ideally free range pork now if you’ve
enjoyed the show there will be more on meat production in the future now if
didn’t like it you’re squeamish about the head cheese and for some reason you
hung around please accept that this is a way of life
and people do eat this sort of stuff so comment down
below let me know what you think share the love give this one the thumbs
up and I’ll see you next time be good now this is a little
unusual fior Steve’s Kitchen but it is what I’m passionate about with all other
kinds of food from all over the world I hope you’ve
enjoyed it I’ll leave some links up here to some other videos and of course as always
I love to hear your comments be good subscribe to the channel: see
you next time


  1. Your recipe turned out just like I remember from the charcuterie in Lyon where I was born. Beautiful with the parsley and the gelée like I remember. I will look at your other meat recipes. I miss the saucisson de Lyon.

  2. Looks really good! I grew up in Western Canada with a German background, and I can say that Head cheese (brawn) was one of my favorites. The problem is that I'm the only one in my house that will eat it. Can it be frozen, to make it last longer?

  3. I would sometimes have it in a sandwiches but mostly we would eat it on a bowl with some vinegar on it! Yummy!!!!

  4. I have to ask, when you cooked the head(s) did you leave the brain in there? we were told to never eat the brain, so we would scoop it out and discard it. There are risks to eating brain tissue I think.

  5. like your shirt and head cheese is the bomb looks very good but a lot of work i. would buy it a publix boars head but they quit having it not enough people buying it they dont know what they are missing but i do wish i had some😆

  6. Just love the brawn video using a pigs head.My mother used to make it all the time being Polish. She did add whole cloves of garlic & whole peppercorns as well as the ears,snout, tongue & brains into the mix.Absolutely delicious. Store bought pork brawn simply is too boring & lacks texture and flavour. Great job Steve. My food site >>
    I will post your video there in due course. Will check out your other vids as well…Thanks mate

  7. Aww. My Mom made this all the time. She LOVED it. Ate it cold all by herself. lol. We would have nothing to do with it. lol. We would go screaming from the kitchen. She said good. My favorite. Hahahaha. Thanks for the memory.

  8. I bought a beautiful free range half a pig. Complete with head. I will be making some smoked Head cheese. Haven't had it since I lived in Brooklyn 35 years ago

  9. Hi Chef, you should have told us the type of salt you used. Looking at the consistency of that salt, it wasn't table salt. Also a line of hard boiled eggs through the centre of the terrine would have looked and tasted great.

  10. My grandmothers and mother would make head cheese from an old family recipe. It takes time to make a good head cheese. I like the idea with the vegetable and egg mixture.

  11. Hi Steve how are you doing thanks for the wonderful video the very well done. I make something similar to this but I don't use Pig's head. I call mine in English meat cheese it's very simple to make. You can use either pork roast or even beef my son made it out of deer meat it was good basically what you do there's you have about 2 pounds of meat put it in 8 quart pan or 10 quart covered with water add spices whatever spices you like. Let it boil once the meat is done. You take the meat out and cut it up into fine pieces you can even grind it put it through the grinder. You can also have it as quarter inch pieces if that's what you like when you put the meat back in the pan bring it to a boil and add flour. Doesn't matter what kind of flour. Keep on adding flour until it gets really thick. You will need a food Stamper in order to add the last bit of flour. Can you put it in bread pans greased. Put it in the fridge to allow it to set period and cut slices off then fry it. I have an air fryer myself so I use hardly any oil

  12. Saw your video Novenber 1917 and this looks a lot like the Belgian recipe – except we add pig's feet and some beef in the pot along with the head. Thank you for this recipe. I lost mine back in the 60's and I acquired a pig's head today!

  13. One of my most favorite foods…..I love collagen foods, they are what I grew up with. thanks for showing how simple this is to make!

  14. I was happy to find this video on head cheese. My parents and Grandparents used to make this like 50 year's ago. I was pretty sure how to proceed to make it but was happy to find your method. Most of what I have seen put up here on you tube has been called head cheese but never had a head to be seen during the making!
    I just had a Mangalitsa processed and the butcher was thrilled to have someone ask for all the extras that most don't even want to see! The head is frozen but I will be thawing soon to make my head cheese! The trotters will not be going into the head cheese as they (3 at least, one is still attached to the ham destined to become prosciutto!) will become pickled pig's feet! Another something I haven't had for years! Since the last time my mother made them about 15 years ago!
    Thanks again, as others have mentioned, I will be using everything from the head.(snout, ears and all!) I am looking forward to fried brains and eggs for an upcoming breakfast!

  15. Great video Steve! To make the meat look more red in the finished Brawn, would you add some Salpêtre / curing red salt in the cure as you did in the Guanciale video. If yes in what proportion? Love your video and your chef’s jacket. Thank you

  16. Disgusting! To each his own and no offense, by the way, but never in this life will I eat head cheese, souse, and brown schwagger!!! I'd soon rather die from starvation! No, thank you.

  17. Awesome bro… mah grandad and his nekdoor neighbor use too make brawn …. tasty as cold on hot buttered toast … new zesland kai…

  18. Hello from here in the states Southeast, Alabama. I understand this is a very old video. I was very impressed with the technique that you shared with us on how you cleared the stock. Here in the states I am a backwoods hillbilly Country Boy.I have grown up watching people make this recipe in their backyards after a hog killing. I have to tell you your technique of clearing the stock I have never seen before. I will be trying that idea with my next cooking of hog head cheese as we Barbarian country folks in the Backwoods call it. we use the same ingredients that you did with just a touch of apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas I think this will make me a better cook. wow that clearing of the stock using the egg was the most impressive thing that I have ever seen in a long time. I cannot wait for our next outdoor cooking to show this technique to everyone.

  19. My Grandma made the best head cheese. But she never used the head. Just pork hocks. She taught me. And every Ukrainian Christmas. I was asked to make the head cheese.

  20. Ah mate, I've just seen your channel and what a great guy to watch. I'm in apprenticeship as a chef… I start on Monday…. Ex serviceman, worked in construction for 15 years and now following my passion. I'll be looking forward to watching your channel in my spare time 👍

  21. Thank you a lovely clear presentation. My husband and | were just talking about the brawn our Moms use to make and |, since having never made Brawn, came to view your video,

  22. I wouldn't use the pigs head, I would use only cubed pork roast. I just wouldn't like dealing with a pig head unless I was starving!

  23. Absolutely beautiful,Im definitely going to give it a go,Ive always loved brawn,and not always can you get it in the supermarkets.thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

  24. in America they call this "HEAD CHEESE" – It's made a lot in the South, possibly originally by slaves, when the Masters threw them all the scraps, things they would not eat. But my Mom used to make this from the recipes of LITHUANIA (they have many recipes in common from the nearby countries like Russia, Poland, Ukrania, Estonia, Latvia) – These climates like Lithuania & Mongolia, indeed, also use all the animal's body. Many kinds of body parts produce gelatin, in fact, when I boil my chicken for the cats it makes gelatin. They use pig's heads a lot, especially in France, perhaps this is where the term "head cheese" came from. Fish make gelatin also, called aspic. Even those bones they put in the 'garbage' they should throw into the woods or near the house. I'm sure some animals will be able to eat them. In cold areas you have desperate animals. Where I live upstate NY, it's as cold as this–or used to be before global warming. Thirty years ago we had 8 days a year of 32-34 below. But now, it's much warmer, never gets below 16 below & that only a couple days a year.

  25. The only thing I'm squemish about is the American name Head Cheese, to me that's a pretty ghastly descriptor. Brawn is much better from my point of view. I realise the Head is a waste product for the most part but with the amount of time and effort in making a quality Brawn, its a wonder its not really expensive to buy.

  26. Steve, I am unable to make this due to not only the sheer weight of such a large stock pot but nor do i have room in the fridge, is it possible to make a whole chicken version of a brawn?

  27. Queso de Cabeza, my Grandpa used to make it a lot when he was alive. A family tradition for me. Never knew it was also eaten in Europe.

  28. Hi. I'm from Montana and I have never tried head cheese but after watching this, I plan on it. Thank you!! Absolutely AMAZING watching you.

  29. If you want to make Cajun hog head cheese (Louisiana, USA) add some Louisiana style hot sauce, some cayenne pepper, a dash or two of liquid smoke and a dash of browning seasoning to the stock and season the meat with Cajun/Creole seasoning instead of salt and pepper, and to the final product add some very thinly sliced green onions along with that parsley.

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