I’m back in a new pork groove. I was on a bit of a hiatus while I transitioned to a new job. Now that life has settled down it’s time to get back into eating odd things for your amusement. This week I found another pork-head-based product that I have been looking for, souse. The difference between souse and head cheese is that souse usually contains pickled vegetables or relish. Additional vinegar is added so you wind up with a pickled pork product, which I have had limited success with.

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Since souse is fully cooked I was prepared for a taste right out of the package.

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 The initial flavor was heavy with vinegar but did carry a strong pork taste as well. The texture was tough and chewy; for something fully cooked I expected to have more of the gelatinous, cartilage texture rather than something that tough.

I tried pan frying it to see if some heat would help with the texture. I hoped to be able to serve it with a fried egg and bring chicken and pig together again in perfect harmony.  Sadly, that was not meant to be.

It broke apart into liquefied gelatin and random pork bits. I tried a bite from the pan and it was actually very tasty. The heat softened things up and helped the texture quite a bit.  I replaced the melted gelatin with a scrambled egg as a binder. The egg soaked up the fat and bound up the meaty bits like a champ.

Once the egg was set I dove in and was rewarded with a tasty dish.

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Granted, it didn’t look pretty, but it tasted great. Crispy, slightly chewy with the softness of the eggs to hold it all together. The vinegar flavor mellowed a bit but was present, the pork flavor was right upfront. A complete bite really reminded me of hash, which is a great thing in my book.

This is a tough one for me to rate: I liked the flavor but not the texture when it was cold. It might be better at room temp served like pate, and i will try that. Cooked it lost all of its form but gained a lot of texture and flavor.  In the end I’m giving souse a “Try It” especially you you find someone who likes it and knows how to serve it.

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