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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The souse is done and so am I

On Monday I scrubbed the hogs head parts that had been soaking in salt water over night and got those all cooked to make souse. I left them in the pressure canner to cool over night so I could pick out the bones and chop the meat up. So on Tuesday that is what I did. I got an early start and got all the meat off the bones and into a pan to wait for seasoning. The bones I put in zip top bags and into the freezer for Luna and Delilah as they need em. Once the bones are out of the meat and the meat chopped. Add back to the meat some of the stock for the pot till the mixture is the thickness of mashed potatoes. Stir well and put into a heavy bottom kettle to cook. I used my enameled cast iron dutch oven.

 I did mine in batches. Add salt, black pepper, and sage to taste. It should have a slight hint of garlic from garlic powder and a notable taste of sage. Stir the seasoning into the meat.

In this 2 gallon kettle half full of meat I added about 1 cup of fine ground plain cornmeal. Stir in and turn on the heat and stir often and let it bubble for about 20 minutes.

I pour the souse into cake pans once it has cooked to let it set. The meat will get firm and can be sliced. Today I went to the summer kitchen and cut the souse into small blocks and wrapped it in plastic wrap and into the freezer. Once it freezes I will vacuum seal it to make it last longer. The fat content being very high and a cooked food it will get rancid fairly quick.
So now if some gives you a fresh hogs head you will know what to do with it. Although this is not something that everyone will eat. It is sometimes called head cheese or scrapple and to us in appalachia it is souse.

We have had drizzle all day today and it has been cold. Was kinda nice to work in the summer kitchen and not need heat or AC. I let the hens out while I was outside but they didnt seem to care much for the cooler weather either. The young pullets are laying pretty good. I get 5 or 6 eggs per day. So I have lots of nice eggs for baking. So maybe tomorrow I can stay in and bake something good.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



Pokeberry Mary said...

Ah head cheese! Now that I know about. :) I did not know it was the same thing. I would be happy to scrape out a hog head for that stuff. I'm surprised the family won't eat it--you'd think the smell alone would draw them in. :) YUM!!!

Deb said...

Oh man, Stella! That sure sounds good!