My annual pig roast is one of my favorite events of the year. There is something incredibly satisfying about roasting a whole animal. It is a combination of many things that make it so special to me, but in the end it is a tremendous amount of planning and work for a (hopefully) huge payoff. For me it has the additional benefit of allowing me to cook and drink all day, without the need to really be social. This is one of my formerly deep dark secrets: part of the reason I love to cook for friends and family is it allows me to be at an event without the need to really be involved with people. Something like a pig roast gives me a good solid 12 hours to be antisocial with a reason no one can argue with– I must tend the pig.

Enough of the back story, let’s get on to the brains.

A friend of mine brought along a spectacular two handed meat cleaver, which was invaluable in cracking open the skull and allowing me to access the slow roasted grey matter inside.



A couple of quick whacks and I was ready to scoop out the prize inside my container of porky cracker jacks. I managed to split the brain nicely in half and got ready to dig in.



No dramatic build up required, it was time to take a bite and discover how pig brains taste.



They were very tender, falling apart before they hit my mouth. The texture was soft, a bit grainy and not particularly pleasant. The flavor was similar to other organ meats, not much of a distinctive pork taste unfortunately. I took another bite to see if I could pick up any other nuances and it was just, meh.


In the grand scheme of organ meats I think I prefer heart or liver over brains. Their overly soft texture is not very appealing. I now understand why they are frequently fried or mixed in with other things. I have heard of people eating brains with scrambled eggs and that makes perfect sense to me. The textures are similar and the organ meat flavor would be a great complement to eggs.

They weren’t bad but I wouldn’t seek them out again. Roasted pig brains get a “you don’t have to,” but if you are curious, and like organ meats, go for it.


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2 Responses

  1. Andrew

    Well, yeah, if you just randomly eat the brain out of a whole roasted animal, without doing any special preparation on that part, what does one expect? Not only does it have a highly unique structure to it compared to, not just the meat but other organs, but it’s being roasted for multiple hours while COMPLETELY surrounded by a cage of bone… there are a lot of factors here that’ll naturally screw its structure and flavor experience off its ideal.
    This is an organ that really does require careful and particular preparation; very much like liver, which I doubt would also taste great if one just left it in the pig throughout that whole roasting process. If you really wanna give a proper opinion and review on pork brains, I would suggest cracking one out of the head beforehand and cooking separately, following one of the many recipes one can find online or in an older textbook.
    Not to sound like some douchebag troll or anything, my apologies if I do. Just want to make sure that these oft-unappreciated cuts aren’t taken the wrong way under notably less-than-ideal circumstances.


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