This is a less hardcore version of brawn, or fromage de tête, as it's known in France. Real brawn is generally made with a pig's head that's boiled for a few hours with some herbs and spices. Then all the meat and skin is broken up - including the tongue and brain - and set in its own jelly. A pork knuckle will do the job, so you've got the brawn without the brain. Sorry, I just couldn't resist that - nor could I resist buying a few pigs' trotters to put into mine as they were sitting right next to the pork knuckles, waiting to be bought.
To add a bit of variety and flavour you could use a piece of ham hock as well as pork knuckle as I did here; it also gives the cooking liquor a slightly more savoury flavour.
1 piece of pork knuckle, on the bone, weighing about 1kg
1 small un-smoked ham hock weighing about 500g, soaked in cold water overnight
2 pigs' trotters (optional)
2 onions, peeled and halved
A few blades of mace, or 1/2tsp ground
12 black or white peppercorns
4 cloves of garlic
Rinse the ham hock off under cold water and put it into a large saucepan with the pork knuckle, trotters if using and the other ingredients.
Bring to the boil and simmer for about 4 hours, until the meat is beginning to fall off the bone. Drain the meat in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid and leave to cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile strain off the cooking liquid into the pan and boil it until it has reduced to half its volume. Make sure it doesn't become too salty as it reduces by tasting it every so often. If you're worried about it being too salty add a little water. Take off the heat and leave to cool. f
Remove the pork and ham meat from the bone and chop it up, including the skin, into rough 2-3 cm chunks. Mix the meat in a bowl with a couple of cups of the cooking liquor, taste the mixture and season more if necessary. Put the mixture into a bowl, terrine or moulds and leave overnight in the fridge to set.
Serve with toast and pickles or salad.Reuse content