[Sca-cooks] Boar's Head

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Aug 20 16:43:28 PDT 2008

On Aug 20, 2008, at 6:30 PM, Elise Fleming wrote:

> Drat the slowness of those digests!  Gunthar wrote:
>> I'm sure I would go ahead and eat parts of the head,
>> especially the cheeks and such. Although I still won't
>> eat brains. I'd even be tempted to gnaw on the eyeball
>> if only to watch poor Elizabeth go screaming from the
>> room.
> While some boars' heads might contain brains and eyeballs, etc.,  
> Brears'
> version doesn't.  His actually is a pig's head since a real boar's  
> head is
> usually not available.  He also comments, prior to his recipe, that  
> baking
> a pig's head without any preparation is "unhygenic, inedible and  
> wasteful
> mess".  He notes that there are no early recopes for preparing a  
> boar's
> head but there are later versions through to the 20th century.
> In his recipe, the forcemeat which fills the head consists of pork
> shoulder, streaky bacon, rabbit meat, onions and spices.  Boar tusks  
> are
> used for a garnish, but if not available he says to use celery  
> curled to
> represent them.  A glace cherry works for the eyes - unless you have
> artificial glass ones.  To simulate a black boar, he instructs the  
> cook to
> mix black food coloring paste with lard and rub it over the head to  
> make it
> look like one.

I have some issues with Brears' adaptation, but it does produce a  
beautiful dish if done right.

My feeling is, that's a great stuffing if you're making a nineteenth  
or twentieth century French game terrine, but we have lots of medieval  
French, English, and other recipes for stuffed foods, not to mention  
one 16th-century English one for a stuffing "To Farce All Things".  
Most of them call for boiled pork, minced and ground, raw eggs, cooked  
egg yolks, soft cheese, and spices.

I'm curious as to why Brears, with his Hampton Court experience, took  
a different route.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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