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What is pork cheese and how is it prepared?

28 mayo, 2021

Surely more than once you have heard or seen recipes with pork cheese, that’s why we invite you to really know what it is and everything you need to prepare it.

What is it?

It is not a cheese, at least not one that is made with milk, the reality is that it is a sausage that is prepared based on the meat of the pig’s head, it is usually prepared throughout Mexico, mainly in the central area.

It can include meat from the legs or the heart and is also known as pork cheese, head cheese or tompeate. The pork cheese recipe is really old, some historians refer that it has its origin in medieval times, when the peasants cleaned the pig’s head and cooked the meat, without organs to obtain a particular broth, when it cooled and curdled, it acquired a particular consistency, thanks to the large amount of collagen it contains.

What gives it an extra flavor is that it is seasoned with onion, garlic, different spices such as cloves, thyme, oregano, marjoram, bay leaf and pepper. There are even recipes that include nutmeg, lemon, and vinegar. Pork cheese can usually be used to make sandwiches, toast, and cakes, but it’s also great as a snack.

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pork cheese toast

To give it more flavor you can chop it and mix it with onion, lemon, olive oil and parsley.

How do you prepare the pork cheese?

Although the recipes may change according to the region, in Mexico there is a basic procedure that is followed to make this dish and here we present it step by step:

  1. Wash the head meat well, you can include different parts such as the ears and also some legs.
  2. Boil all the pieces in a large pot.
  3. Season the meat with vinegar, spices, onion or garlic.
  4. Cook the meat in a saucepan over low heat, for several hours, until almost all the broth is consumed.
  5. Remove the meat, let it cool and chop the pieces into small pieces or strips, including the cartilage.
  6. Pour the meat into a tompeate or palm basket, you can also use small molds or a piece of blanket tied with threads. You have to take care that everything is well compacted.
  7. Let cool or place in the refrigerator for a whole day.
  8. Unmold and serve.

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