After slaughtering a pig, its head is first separated, after which the carcass is sent for further processing. Butchering a pork head requires care. A novice farmer should take a responsible approach to this process in order to avoid possible spoilage of meat and offal.
Preparation of tools and workplace
The most important basics are the right place and the table on which the deboning process will take place. Pig head cutting at home should be done in a clean room. The table for her must be large and stable. Also for boning you will need:
- several cutting boards of different sizes;
- deep bowls for laying out food;
- sharp knives - kitchen, sirloin with a rigid blade, as well as a cleaver with a thick butt;
- paper towels or clean cloth;
- medical gloves;
- running water.
The need to use several knives is due to the specifics of cutting the head. For example, a cleaver is used to cut through the skull. The fillet knife is used directly for skinning meat.
How to cut a pig's head without an ax
The first step is to clean off the soot formed when the pig is singed from the ears and other parts of the head. At this stage, do not wash your head - dry skin will make it more convenient to separate the outer parts when cutting. The step-by-step process of cutting a pork head is traditionally performed in the following sequence:
- Ears are cut off with a sharp knife. Care should be taken to keep the cutting line as close to the skull as possible. Pork ears are widely used in cooking for various appetizers and salads. Ears cooked in Korean marinade are very popular. One of the best ways to use them is smoking - the resulting dish is considered a real delicacy.
- The next step is to cut off the cheek. It is separated with the same knife along with the meat adjacent to it. The correct cut is from the top of the head towards the patch. The knife should go as close to the skull as possible without touching it. Particular care should be taken near the eye sockets - their accidental damage can lead to the ingress of eye fluid on the meat. Cheek is used to prepare various snacks - smoked, boiled and pickled. Many housewives bake it in the oven with vegetables.
- The head is placed in a log house on the table, after which the meat is removed from the frontal part. Such meat can be used for minced meat in combination with other parts of the pork carcass - shoulder or neck.
- Now we need to separate the language. To do this, turn the head over, cut the pulp from the chin. A tongue is taken out of the resulting hole. There are many dishes that are prepared with this part of the pig. The tongue is stewed, fried, boiled and pickled. It is added to salads and appetizers. Aspic made from pork tongue is considered a real work of culinary art.
- The next step is to chop the pork head in half. To do this, a strong blow is applied to the bridge of the nose with a cleaver. Then the bones are cut with a sharp knife, separating the upper part of the head from the lower one.
- The eyes are removed from the upper part. Then the brain is cut out with a sharp knife, which must be washed in clean water. The brain is most often used in the preparation of various pates.
- A patch is cut off. It is used in cooking for the preparation of jellied meat and saltison. Housewives also stew it with vegetables and add it to casseroles.
- To separate the jaws, it is necessary to cut the ligament that connects them. From the bottom, the bones are separated, on which the meat remains. They are perfect for making rich broths and soups.
Attention! The remaining bones of the skull, teeth and cartilaginous ligaments do not have any nutritional value and can only be used for feeding pets.
The blanks obtained when cutting a pork head must be treated with special care. It is believed that it is necessary to cook from them immediately after deboning. If the by-products are harvested for future use, soak them in cold water for 6 hours, then wipe them with paper towels.
How to cut a pig's head into jellied meat
The most popular dish prepared by housewives from a pork head is jellied meat. This part of the pig contains a large amount of cartilage and skin, which, during prolonged cooking, actively release collagen - a substance necessary for the broth to solidify. The ears and patch are the parts from which collagen is released the fastest. Often they are added separately when cooking jellied meat from a ham or shank.
Cooking pork head jellied meat requires a responsible approach to the preparation of ingredients. Initially, you need to soak your head in water for a long time. The ideal condition is to keep it in water for 12 hours. Then they wipe it dry and start cutting.
It is necessary to remove parts unsuitable for cooking jellied meat in advance. These include eyes and teeth. The eyes are removed with a spoon, taking care not to damage the integrity of the ocular membrane. The teeth are removed with pliers or cut out together with the jaws.
Important! Housewives do not recommend using pork tongue for cooking jellied meat. It is usually carved and used to make more sophisticated dishes.
First, a patch and ears are cut off from the head. Then it is cut into two equal parts between the eyes. Then each of the resulting parts should be divided into two more. For jellied meat, strict division into the cheek, the frontal part, and so on is unimportant. The main condition when cutting a pig's head for jellied meat is the need for approximately the same size of pieces. As a result, each of the pieces should turn out to be 8-10 cm in size. This approach will allow you to get the perfect broth.
Butchering a pork head is a simple process. If all the rules are followed, a fairly large amount of meat and offal is obtained, which can be used to prepare a large number of culinary delights. If the head is cut for jellied meat, then the process does not present any difficulties at all.