Pig’s Head Croquettes
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  • Portion/Yield:

    Serves about 10 as a starter using two croquettes per portion
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This recipe was created for an event that we hosted and cooked for Dingley Dell, our local pig farm. The event was called Dingley Dell flying visits. The event celebrates the pig in all it’s glory, a group of chefs get together to prepare their dishes and cook it in order of a three course dinner. The collaborations has seen some wonderful creations including desserts made with using pork. Direct meats butchers will cut up a pig in front of the guest which shows butchery skills. These events are amazing and raise the awareness of freedom foods reared pork.

This recipe is dedicated to Mark Hayward from Dingley Dell Pig Farm. The pigs head croquettes makes a lovely starter, served with my delicious piccalilli it makes also a very pretty dish.photo of dingley dell flying visit

photo of Pigs head croquettephoto of Pigs head croquettephoto of Pigs head croquette

Ingredients & Method

  • 1 whole pig's head
  • 1 stick celery, cut into 4 even size pieces
  • 1 carrot, cut into 4 even size pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ras-el-hanout
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped soft herbs (chives, chervil, tarragon, parsley)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 100g Panko honey breadcrumbs
  • 1 small jar Home Made Piccalilli
  • 1 small handful seasonal salad leaves (including nasturtium leaves)

Remove any excess hairs from the pig’s head using a razor or blowtorch. Place the head in a large saucepan, fill with cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Once boiling remove any scum using a ladle, top the pan up with cold water and add the celery, carrot, bay leaves, thyme and one onion cut into quarters. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat for 3 1/2 hours, top the water up at least once or twice ensuring the head is covered at all times. Let the head cool in the stock for about 1 hour.

Drain the head from the stock, discard the stock and vegetables and flake the meat from the head.

You will end up with about 400g of flaked pigs head meat, let it cool completely in the fridge.

In the meantime chop the remaining onion very finely, and in a medium saucepan over medium heat sweat the onion in the oil with the garlic, seasoning and ras-el-hanout for about 8 minutes until completely soft. Add to the flaked pigs head add the herbs, mix well.
Shape 25g croquettes, refrigerate for 2 hours to let them completely set.

Once the croquettes are set then panée them: place the flour with seasoning in a small bowl, place the beaten egg in another next to it, and finally the crumbs in another bowl. First roll the croquettes in the flour, then egg and roll in crumbs. Complete the process until all the croquettes are coated.

Heat a deep fat fryer filled with oil to manufacturer’s instructions to 160 °C .

Deep fry the croquettes in two batches for 5 minutes each batch till golden brown and hot all the way through. Drain on kitchen paper and season the cooked croquettes with salt.

Serve with the piccalilli and salad leaves.

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