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Hogshead Cheese

Ingredients

5 pounds pig ears or pig feet

5 pounds pork neckbones

2 onions, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

¼ cup minced garlic

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons cajun seasoning

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3 bay leaves

¼ cup kosher salt

⅛ cup black pepper

¼ cup pickling spice

2¼ cups apple cider vinegar, divided

Saltines

Hot sauce

Directions

  1. Line two 8×8-inch pans with plastic wrap or foil; set aside. Was meats thoroughly and add to a large pot. Add the following 11 ingredients. Add 2 cups of vinegar and enough water to cover all ingredients. Cover pot and simmer over low heat until meat is tender, at least 4 hours. Allow to cool enough to handle by hand.
  2. Remove meat from cooking liquid and discard any bones and bay leaves, if still whole. Separate any unusable parts and reserve cooking liquid. Using clean hands, mash the meats into small pieces and divide into the prepared pans. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup vinegar.
  3. Skim any residue from top of cooking liquid, if necessary. Ladle liquid over meat until just covered. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 24 hours–long enough for meat mixture to gel. Un-mold onto a serving dish and slice. Serve with saltine crackers and hot sauce
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