The Pig Head Situation

Should You or Shouldn't You Eat a Pork Face?

Comments

1
Is this honestly considered good writing?
Language could not be butchered more if it were a half pig's head.
You shift from one pole to another, criticizing the establishment, then praising it in the very same sentence.
2
Is this honestly considered good writing?
Language could not be butchered more if it were a half pig's head.
You shift from one pole to another, criticizing the establishment, then praising it in the very same sentence.
4
Captain Jack Aubrey of the Patrick O'Brian "Master and Commander" novel series delighted upon a dinner of soused hog's face. I presume this is what Capt. Jack meant.
5
@1 This is great writing, Cody. Interested in trying to understand your critique though -- you only want writers to have one very simple and uncomplicated opinion and stick to it?
6
Pig face seems a little extreme. I have always wanted to make my own head cheese, though. It's great.
7
I cook at Brave Horse Tavern and we're about to feature my headcheese on our smorgasbord, the third time we've done so. I take a pig head (or two!) and simmer them with mirepoix and a sachet of fresh herbs and spices, a couple lemons cut in half, a jot of sherry vinegar, and a good splash of Srirarcha. When the cheeks pull away from the skull, the heads are done simmering. Remove the heads from the stock and set aside so it's not finger-meltingly hot; in the meantime, strain the liquid and set back on the stove to reduce by half. When you can touch the meat without suffering severe burns, pick all the flesh from the skull. Under the eye sockets is a particular gold-mine (I prefer to carve the area free with a spoon in one swoop). Peel the tongue and mince fine to go with the picked, minced meat.

To season, I add a little sherry to the stock, a couple of apples in the reduction, and more hot sauce - just until it's exciting, not until you can actually TASTE hot sauce. I mix pickled shaved lemon rind, red pepper flakes, and minced parsley into the picked meat, then pour over the reduction (reduced by half) and chill in whatever little vessels I can find.

It's delicious! It's strange to the modern palate! We love it at BHT!
8
yum.
9
WTF is this shit.
10
Yeah I might eat that shit if it was free and I was drunk, a 300 lbs fat ass, and too poor to buy food.
11
Great reading @ 6am! 40 bucks seems like the best deal in town....
12
It was cooked separately? That doesn't seem like the right way to cook a pig's head; it should be cooked with the whole pig, preferably in a pit or on a spit. If you can't do that, I'd go for the approach @7 -- that sounds fantastic. I like a nice head cheese.
13
When I was a kid I usta love head cheese, a deli meat made up of head meat bits in it's own gelatin.

But, my grandparents were German immigrants and that's the kinda stuff they ate.

I tried it again recently, and either that was inferior head cheese, or I'm not meant to enjoy head cheese as an adult.
14
Uh, don't Chinese delis routinely roast entire pigs, including the face? (Okay, no entrails.) Or is that only in other cities?

Back at the old Safeway on 15th Ave, before they tore it down and built the huge one that's there now, I would occasionally see a pig's head wrapped in plastic in the meat section. I was kind of surprised, since this wasn't in an "ethnic" neighborhood.
15
I prefer pork chops.
16
Where can I sign up for the meat agenda?
17
@13:

My late grandfather was of German extraction & my grandmother would occasionally make head cheese. The first time I saw her put that pig's head in a giant stock pot on the stove really squicked me out (I was maybe 10 or 11), but after some serious convincing, I had to admit the end product tasted pretty darned good. (Never acquired a taste for the pickled pig's feet, though.) But, the pre-packaged stuff you buy in the Deli Aisle at your local grocer just doesn't compare to the traditional, home-made variety, like @7 describes - and which I now really want to try!
18
There's usually decent head cheese in the case at Husky Deli, along with other goodies like liverwurst and assorted stinky pates.
19
Is your job on the chopping block again? You seem to resort to trolling the veg-crowd every time you need a boost to your replies and views. But hey, if it's working...
20
Is anybody besides Bethany Jean Clement still sitting around wringing their hands over PETA? Let it go, girl. Nobody else cares.

And if you can't stop thinking about some old animal rights group from the 90s, maybe you and PETA need to finally get a room, you feel me?
22
I thought Johnny Cash was dead.
23
Roasted pigs head is delicious. We've cooked the one in "Beyond Nose to Tail" and it came out awesome. Bonus, by buying the whole head, and roasting half, we had the other half to make head cheese and aspic for soup dumplings (which we also used the leftover meat for after re-seasoning).
24
@4: Yes, that sounds right. And for dessert, either after that meal or another one, he and Stephen Maturin each had a helping of Spotted Dick. I always enjoyed the descriptions of food in those novels. I wonder if they are accurate in the description of the amount of vast quantities of alcohol the officers of the Royal Navy drank.
25
In a soup, Mexican style is my fave. It's called posole. If I've been a good boy, I make it for my birthday every year.
26
Pigs head, pigs head, rolly-polly pigs head, eat them up, yum!
27
Was this a restaurant review? Is it an expose? Is it a short story about a pig head? Is it fan - fiction? What is the point of this article?
28
This is excellent writing. That is enough of a point in and of itself. And, to answer your question (@27), it is a restaurant review with an entertaining hook---what the heck is it like to eat an entire pig's head?

29
Well, if you love hot dogs and/or real Chorizo as much as I do, you have eaten pig face, and more.
30
Pretentious hipster bullshit. way to be utterly predictable in your attempt to be sensational.
31
What pretentious hipster bullshit.
33
"What is the point of this article?"

Its to give yuppie seattle people an idea of more sick things they can eat.

Next in this fine series will be unpaid douchebag stranger employee hunting wolves from a helicopter then taking the carcass to be prepared at a fancy restaurant.
34
So......this is the latest edgy food trend in Seattle?
Um, uh, urp.......yuck!

Why on earth would I want to eat anything, no matter HOW incredibly seasonsed, that looks like Rodney Tom, Tim Eyman, Doug Ericsen, Jason Overstreet, Vincent Buys, Seth McFarlane, John Boehner, Dubya, Dick Cheney, Mitt Romney and his bobbleheaded sidekick Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, John McCain and the Koch brothers, et. al ad nauseum?

Eesh. How much pigface is in ham and bacon?
35
I really don't understand this review. It seems like a flimsy platform to blast "Nose to Tail" eating as a trend, but then defend it as a philosophy. If you didn't like the flavors of the pig head, then just say it and move on to reviewing the rest of the menu, service and atmosphere. By making such a big deal of one menu item, the reviewer seems like yet another squeamish American who can't deal with something more than a pork chop. I'd rather see someone take aim at the overpriced braised short rib or pork belly trend rather than what seems to be reasonably priced pig head.

The pig head was bland and larger than described. Got it. But after this I have no idea whether or not I'd like Radiator Whiskey.

That seems like a failure of the review.
36
Burnished. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

OTOH, "end-stage meat sports" made me laugh out loud, so I give this an "I wish I had written that" out of 10.
37
@36: It really was made shiny/lustrous, as Merriam Webster defines "burnish" (though just by cooking, not by Merriam's optional rubbing—or so one hopes).

And thanks!
38
I didn't find the answer for how long to simmer the head bone to make stock in this discussion, but for any one who is on the fence about the concept, here's my two cents. I've eaten the half a hog head twice at Radiator over the last six months and found the whole event to be a great, unique group dining experience. The head is delicately brined without a huge blast of salt or sugar, then smoked without an over whelming wood flavor or aroma. The meat is succulent and sweet because of the gentle treatment. The side selections are interesting, such as the watermelon salad with chile vinaigrette. The service is good. They are proud of their cocktails and wine list. Matt's owners have done a good job on adding Radiator to the mix at the Market. It's fun to go there just for a drink and enjoy the popcorn seasoned with buttermilk powder.