I just don’t like the name head cheese that I got from dictionary. Decided I’d better write this down now that I actually remember it as it’s getting weird calling mom every year to get it right.
I don’t put amounts here in grams as that’s where the real art lays.
It can be made 2 weeks before holidays.
You will need:
4 big pig’s feet (seajalad)
2 big pig’s flails (koot)
about 1,5 kilos of other meat (lean meat or mixture of pork and chicken)
3 big cleaned carrots chopped in large pieces
3 medium onions (with peels if you wish – I don’t) cut in half
small handful of black pepper seeds
3 larger laurel leafs (dried)
It really depends on size of the feet and flails, how much meat is on them, how much water you use and how much extra meat you’ll need. The big pot is needed because the feet and flails are in whole (they are nasty to cut in half and it’s pointless) and they need to be covered with water.
Cut the extra meat into smaller junks, put it in the pot with the feet and flails. Cover them with water. Bring it to slow heat and remove all dirt and foam that boils up. That takes up to half an hour. Add the carrots, pepper, laurel, onions. Leave it to simmer on low heat until the meat comes off the bones. Don’t let it become to strong boiling as this will not let the adhesive to boil out, which will ruin the dish. This takes about 4 to 6 hours. Around the last half an hour, add some handfuls of salt. Don’t worry if it isn’t quite the taste yet – you will add more later.
After the meat has come loose, sieve the meat and bones and everything such out of the broth. Put the broth back to pot. Leave it on the low heat. Make sure your hands are clean. Separate all bones, peppers, carrots and laurel from the meat. Cut it to small pieces – all the skin, meat and get all the bones out. Put the meat back in the broth and let it simmer a bit so it would be hot again. Also remove onion peels, but the onions themselves can be put back in the broth. Add so much salt that you like the taste, but it will taste slightly salty.
Don’t put carrots in them if you won’t be eating it in the next week. It will hold much longer without it.
This patch with big feet and flails was about 7 kilos of sült, so we put some of it in glass jar before adding a bit more hot water to the broth (how much, depends on how much gelatine you got from the feet and how thick it is – too much and it won’t turn to jelly) . The rest were places in forms and let to turn to jelly. It will be served throughout the holidays.
The one in glass jar works sort of like concentrate of sült, which can be melted later and added a bit water and then, after heating it up, placed in forms, where it will turn jelly again. It holds nicely in the basement for up to two months.
If you notice that your jelly is in its holding place sort of melting up – don’t eat it. This means it’s gone off.