Harold Jones’ Head Cheese Recipe

My husband’s brother’s wife’s father, Harold, was an amazing man. Dean and I often joked that if an apocalypse happened we’d want to be somewhere near Harold because he knew how to live off the land.

Years ago, friends of my parents somehow ended up with a pig head, or perhaps a whole pig, and said they wanted to make head cheese. I knew that Harold had made it so I asked him for a recipe. He gave me detailed instructions on how to make head cheese. I just relocated the recipe. I fear I never gave it to my parent’s friends. Or maybe I made a copy and gave it to my mom to give them.

Harold Jones’ Head Cheese

  • 1 head of pig, split head in half.
  • 2 T. Salt
  • 1 crushed bay leaf
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 T. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 T. mixed spices (garlic powder, onion powder, sage, mace and cloves)
  • 2 gelatin packages to insure firmness

I do the splitting with an ax. Remove snout, brains, skin, eyes, ears and any extra fat. Soak in cold water and clean. Quarter head if so desired, then put in pan of water that [the water] doesn’t quite cover the meat. Boil until meat falls off bone easily. Separate meat from bone and grind to desired firmness. Let brother cool so that the lard comes to the top. Then scrape off the lard and dispose. Mix broth with meat to make a soft batter. Add the seasonings after the batter comes to a boil put in glass cake pan or bread pan to cool. Cut to desired size.Wrap and freeze. Head cheese will stay in the refrigerator for months.

Note: This recipe is for about 3 lbs of meat. When I measure the spices I sometimes spill a lot. 2 cups of vinegar makes a strong mixture. But the twins and myself like the vinegar. Hope you have good luck.


P. S. You can also use a 3 lb pork roast

Harold’s wife Gladys added a note as well:

I told Harold I didn’t think you would have access to a pig head so you can easily buy a roast pork.


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