Porchetta di Testa

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Porchetta di Testa

Postby cannyfradock » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Hello forum crew and members

I saw this a couple of months ago and this week I'M going to attempt to make it.

http://havekniveswillcook.files.wordpre ... =333&h=405

I have the butchery skills to bone and roll this joint, the difficulty will be preparing it for the table.

I have done much research over the last two months and although recipe's vary, the general rule is to vacuum pack the joint and cook in hot water, after it has been seasoned and salted and left a day or so to marinate.

My question to the forum is........why can't I just dry-cure it open, for a week or so, then roll it and leave to hang and cure for a month or so?
After all it's just skin, fat and flesh. I also intend to incorperate a tenderloin of pork (covered in honey) next to the pig's tongue before rolling, just for a little twist. Does it need to be cooked?

Any tips, thoughts or idea's would be much appreciated.

Regards Terry (C.F)

p.s Picking up the pigs head on Thurs. 22 Oct.
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Re: Porchetta di Testa

Postby cannyfradock » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:42 pm

cannyfradock wrote:Hello forum crew and members

I saw this a couple of months ago and this week I'M going to attempt to make it.

http://havekniveswillcook.files.wordpre ... =333&h=405

I have the butchery skills to bone and roll this joint, the difficulty will be preparing it for the table.

I have done much research over the last two months and although recipe's vary, the general rule is to vacuum pack the joint and cook in hot water, after it has been seasoned and salted and left a day or so to marinate.

My question to the forum is........why can't I just dry-cure it open, for a week or so, then roll it and leave to hang and cure for a month or so?
After all it's just skin, fat and flesh. I also intend to incorperate a tenderloin of pork (covered in honey) next to the pig's tongue before rolling, just for a little twist. Does it need to be cooked?

Any tips, thoughts or idea's would be much appreciated.

Regards Terry (C.F)

p.s Picking up the pigs head on Thurs. 22 Oct.


Perhaps I should've posted this link to let anybody who's interested........ exactly what's involved in preparing a "Porchetta di Testa"

http://www.gourmet.com/food/video/2008/ ... o_pigshead

C.F
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Postby saucisson » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:09 pm

Thanks I'll have a read of the link.

Dave
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Postby cannyfradock » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:10 pm

Hello Dave...... Thanks for coming back to me on this.

Have you any idea's on my question to the forum. i.e......can I cure this in the trad. fashion or does it need to be cooked?. Also any help on dry curing rubs would be much appreciated. My butcher that I am buying the pigs head from (who also supplies me with my sausage casings) can give me some sweet cure mix for curing. Is this O.K or do I need to use some pink salt or nitrate?

I don't think I've "bitten off more than I can chew" in attempting to make a Porchetta di Testa as I love A challenge and I have experience in all aspects of "old fashioned butchery" as I worked for 5 years, back in the 70's for a market butcher's stall making sausage, faggot's, brawn, beefburger's etc. as well as butchering his meat, but that was 30 years ago and commercial product's are a world apart from making something in a domestic enviroment.

I am a genuine enthusiast and shall be starting the project Fri. or Sat 23/24 Oct. So any feedback or advice before that date would be truly appreciated.

Many Thanks Terry (C.F)
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Porchetta di Teste

Postby evelusive » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:44 am

I'm not an expert on curing, but i think that the skin of the pig may require cooking to turn the collagen into gelatin, think of a side of procuitto where the cured skin needs to be cut away before eating. However if you lack a vacuum kit (which i do) what you could do is use the head (the bony bit) to make a stock, then wrap the face up in cheesecloth and poach the face in the stock this would mean that you would lose no flavour (the purpose of the vacuum pack) and instead of putting the face on ice just leave it to cool in the stock. The same idea is used to make a classical french dish called a galantine.
I don't know whether this is useful, but its the approach i would take (Quite possibly will, it looks pretty cool)
And I thought this would be easy... :wink:
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Postby Oddley » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:13 pm

I have cured pigs head for bath chaps and it works ok, it's a bit fatty and there is a lot of skin, which would turn to leather after air drying. I'm not sure how well a pigs head would air dry, especially when rolled, there will almost certainly be air pockets, which will encourage mould growth.

Next time I go to Smithfield meat market, I'm going to get a couple of pigs heads, as they are only a couple of quid each. I intend to make the traditional recipe as shown in the video, it looks delicious, and as it is not cured, my grand children can have some.


Gourmet magazine is closing, so the video will go. So here is an alternative on you tube.
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Porchetta di Testa

Postby cannyfradock » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:22 pm

hello evelusive

Perhaps you don't realise how much it means to me for someone like yourself and Oddley( I would like to also reply to his post personally) to come back to me on the same wavelenth regarding the Porchetta di Testa.

Your thought's on dry curing have been also been playing on my mind as wrapping the skin inside itself when rolling, gives me doubt as I don't want to end up with an andouillette taste-a-like product. Also the gelatine factor would not be achieved without the cooking prosess. Your thought's on steeping the joint in the stock are not quite clear as in the process I have seen..... the joint is "croyavac" sealed (vacuum packed) so the meat does'nt come into contact with the cooking medium. the gelatine is produced in itself within the cooking prosess??!.

I am still open to suggestion as to cooking or curing, as your post has changed my mind again. After reading your post I will probably go for the trad. cooking prosess after salting and seasoning.

Have contacted other sites for some feedback on this subject and although i've recieved many comments, it has been only encouragement and best wishes (as welcome as they are).

Today I recieved genuine imput from two sources. How lucky am I.!!!!!!!!!

Regards Terry (C.F)
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Porchetta di Testa

Postby cannyfradock » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:50 pm

Hello Oddley

Great feedback!! I think that your spot-on with your thoughts on air drying. In your evaluation of producing such a refined finished product, then pro's and con's don't enter into the equasion......common sense prevails. As you mentioned skin inside skin and the encouragement of mould growth must be taken into consideration, so will go with trad. method.

I don't have a vacuum packer so I will be using the cling-film option.

What a lucky chappy you are in that you mention "next time I visit Smithfield meat Market" (I would love to visit that place).

Picked my pig's head up from the butchers this morning and it was as fresh as a daisy, so will be boning and rolling prob. Sat morning, taking pics from start to finish.

Pig's head cost £3.50 and the butcher gave me a big bag of sweet-cure mix incase I needed it. ( I think he likes me as 2 pigs jowels and a pigs tongue would come to more than that individually bought!!!!)

Much appreciate the feedback from the forum

Regards Rerry (C.F)
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Postby wheels » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:52 pm

How about curing the tongue and tenderloin that you plan to use and then following the rest as is?

Phil
Last edited by wheels on Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cannyfradock » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:15 pm

Ian

"How about curing the tongue and tenderloin that you lan to use and then following the rest as is? "

Ian please come back to me on this as I I did'nt really understand what you meant exactly....What I would like to do if using curing salts (even in trad method) is to cure, or salt and spice the tongue seperatly before rolling and same as with the tenderloin exept I would like to flash-fire the tenderloin in honey before incorperating in the rolled finished product.

" The rest as is" as is what, which method? Sorry, but confused.com.

Is this what you meant?

Terry
Last edited by cannyfradock on Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wheels » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:40 pm

Oops, I must learn to proof-read! :oops:
What I meant to say was:

How about curing the tongue and tenderloin that you plan to use and then following the rest as is?

That is, to cure the tongue/tenderloin but use the rest of the head uncured; like they do when they do a porchetta with a whole pig.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8D-vuvGUTg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porchetta


Hope this clarifies it. :D

Phil
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Postby cannyfradock » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:07 pm

Phil

Thank-you for making it clear for me. It's a good idea of your's and shall be take on.

As for the vidio's ......they were interesting in the aspect of "porchetta" but I believe that Porchetta di Testa is an individual dish relating to the prepping and rolling of a boned pigs head, quite individual in itself.

Many thanks for your input into my little quandry.

Terry
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Postby cannyfradock » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:13 pm

Here's the little lady herself waiting to be prosessed

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/cannyfrad ... CU3JeIogE#
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Postby wheels » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:24 pm

...but I believe that Porchetta di Testa is an individual dish relating to the prepping and rolling of a boned pigs head, quite individual in itself.


Very true, but am I wrong in thinking that it more left to marinate in a rub of herb and salt, rather than 'cured' with curing salts?

That pig doesn't llok very happy, hadn't the butcher got a smiley one?
:lol: :lol:

Phil
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Postby cannyfradock » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:10 pm

The butcher had a smile on his face when he sold me that one.

I have only you tube to go on, on how to attack such a task, so with that insight and a bit of previous experience in the meat industry and your input, then i hope to achieve a satisfactory end result.

I love a challenge be it with meat, cooking or (my field) building projecs.....here is my last attempt at a challenge (wood oven)

http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac21 ... 1256245034

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/cannyfrad ... 7832899586

I love the feedback, advice and interest

Terry
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