I had a yen for pork and a desire to try out something new. Knowing this I decided to go to my neglected book of Scappi and look for something…different. I found out what they did with the head of a pig (or at least one of the things) instead of just using it for target practice. So I present a rather yummy and interestingly unusual recipe (by modern standards at least).
Roasted Domestic Pig Head
If the head is from a small pig, when its hair is removed in hot water and it is cleaned of all filth, you can spit-roast it without taking out it’s tongue…Serve it with garlic sauce or some other sauce…You can serve it with strong mustard. (Scappi, pp. 184/Book II, rcp #97)
Pig head (or half of one)
I could have roasted a whole head but that’s a bit more meat than we’d have eaten in a few days so I went with half a head.
You can see the hard wood coal fire underneath. Here Scappi was happy to just roast it assuming that the cook would know how to use a spit and what to rub onto the pig head. I added olive oil and sea salt as I have very fond memories from pig roasts in my dad’s back yard where a pig was spit roasted and mopped with salt and olive oil for 8 hours.
I cooked the head on a wood charcoal grill for four hours at 350 (roughly) until the juices ran clear in the fattest part of the meat (the cheek portion). Once the meat was done the best of the meat and skin were sliced off and platted.
I made a garlic sauce and had a side of stone ground mustard. The garlic sauce is a period sauce (to be posted soon) and was amazing with the roasted pork. I highly recommend it. The stone ground mustard was good…but the garlic sauce was better. The skin (not shown) was awesome as well. It didn’t make the table.