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Making aspic for a head cheese terrine

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4 replies to this topic

#1 piracer

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:49 AM

So i've got half a pigs head which i braised in stock etc until tender, shredded the meat and kept aside.

I would like to make some kind of aspic with the remaining liquid, pile the meat along with some aromatic veg and seasoning into a loaf pan and press it down into a head cheese terrine.

Question is, whats the best way to clarify my stock? I'm thinking of going egg whites - i don't really have any cheese cloths, only a fine mesh metal strainer. I'm not quite sure of the technique with egg whites however, i remember seeing how you're supposed to make a force meat blended with the whites, other internet sources tell me you just need a mixture of whites and water/lemon juice, swirled into the liquid cold, brought to a simmer and then when the whites float, just take it all out.

So if that's nice and clarified, would it be possible to make an aspic without extra gelatin leaves, that is, if i reduced the liquid down enough, would there be a suitable amount of natural gelatin to not need any extra?

#2 budrichard

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:03 AM

The cooking liquid will contain sufficient gelatin to gel upon refrigeration. simpy prepare your head cheese in a mold, add cooking liquid and chill. This will work unless you used an inordinate amount of liquid for cooking the meat.
You do not need to clarify unless you are cooking in a restaurant with Michelin Stars.-Dick

Edited by budrichard, 05 February 2013 - 06:04 AM.

#3 rbraham

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:25 PM

I too am interested in a relatively clear, but still nice and floppily piggy aspic.

Question #2: Would boning out the head (cheeks, tongue, miscellaneous) and cooking the meat separately from boiling down the skin and fat produce a cleaner jelly, because it won't have all the protein products to fog it up?

Pretend I have one Michelin star, and am working for that second one.
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#4 Baron d'Apcher

Baron d'Apcher
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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:00 AM

So long as the meat and skin don't simmer above 180F the stock will stay clear and there is enough protein/collagen in the meat/skin to clarify the cooking liquid.  Don't bother with the bones; they only take up valuable real estate in the pot.  You can clarify with egg whites but even then the clarified liquid will not hold up at room temperature.  Clarify with 20% egg whites (whisked with salt and a splash of vinegar) and added to the strained broth when it is at a warm temperature (too hot and the whites with coagulate before they have a chance to clarify).  After that, add 5%-8% gelatin by weight of the aspic.  It will be firm at room temp and slice easily.


You have every need to clarify like you are cooking in a Michelin starred restaurant.  Egg whites, discipline and patience don't cost much.  

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#5 jayt90

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 04:00 PM

Egg whites work well for me, no added lemon juice, but the stock has to be be fat free. It also benefits from Riesling or other white wine during the cooking stage, with no liquid above the head parts..


So, strain and chill, then remove all traces of fat, and whisk in egg whites without a trace of yolk as you bring it to a hot, almost simmering temperature. The curds will sink, carrying impurities with them

It should be crystal clear and ready for the terrine.


Commercial egg whites from a carton seem to work well, too, even if a bit outdated.


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