Pete's Waterfront Ale House has had a special Octoberfest menu this month and has also featured a number of special Octoberfest beers. My friend Bruce and I stopped in the other day for a beer and were treated to one of their specialties, head cheese.
Head Cheese Pete's Style
For those of you who might not know, head cheese, also called souse and brawn, is a jellied loaf or sausage. Originally it was made entirely from the meaty parts of the head of a pig or calf, but now can include edible parts of the feet, tongue, and heart. The head is cleaned and simmered until the meat falls from the bones, and the liquid is a concentrated gelatinous broth. Strained, the meat is removed from the head, chopped, seasoned and returned to the broth and the whole placed in a mold and chilled until set, so it can be sliced. It really is quite delicious.
Bruce and Gaid (pronounced Guy) with Head Cheese
Eaten with some coarse bread with a bit or raw onion, it really hits the spot.
Sam, The Head Cheese At Pete's
Now, I am not sure who actually made the head cheese, but I am sure that Jim, the talented chef had a head, er, hand in it.
Jim, Head Cheese In The Kitchen
And, despite how it may look, Sam and Gaid are not really one person with two heads.
We, of course, washed down the head cheese with a couple of beers and then headed off to my favorite beer store in the neighborhood to stock up the old larder at home. That will have to wait for another day though.