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Crispy Pig’s Head with Asian Slaw

Try your hand at making crispy pig's head from scratch with Adrian's tasty recipe.


  • half a pigs head

  • 2 carrots, peeled

  • 2 celery sticks, halved

  • 2 onions, quartered

  • 1 head garlic, halved

  • 1 sprig thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • salt & pepper

  • olive oil

  • Coleslaw

  • 500 gms white cabbage, shredded

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 splash white vinegar

  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 1 tbs parsley, chopped

  • To serve

  • gherkins

  • pickled pearl onions

  • wholegrain mustard

  • dijon mustard

  • crusty bread


  • 1.

    Take the pigs head & remove any hairs, with a blowtorch or razor.

  • 2.

    Put the head in a large oven tray, add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and cover with water. Season the water with salt & and pepper. Cover with a layer of baking paper and a layer of foil. Transfer to a preheated oven at 150C for 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours or until pig is tender but not falling to pieces.

  • 3.

    Before dissecting the head, you will need three bowls, one large for waste & two smaller, one for meat & one for fat.

  • 4.

    Cover your work surface with overlapping plastic wrap, creating a work surface of about 1m x 50 cm, you will also need some paper towel & a small knife.

  • 5.

    Remove the head from the pot & place it in your large bowl to drain, allow the head to cool. When the head has cool transfer it to the plastic wrap, with the cheek side down. Pull out the top of the skull & eye & discard. Pull out the jaw & discard it. Pull off the snout & discard it.

  • 6.

    Essentially pull off all the meat & place it into one bowl & then the fat & skin into the other bowl, all the cartilage & bone will need to be discarded. With the tongue, turn it inside out & take the meat out of the membrane, discarding the membrane. The ear is not used in this recipe.

  • 7.

    Season the meat with salt & pepper & then toss through the garlic. Start by laying out the fat & skin on the plastic forming the first layer. The lay the meat over the fat to form the next layer. Leaving a inch of fat only around the outside.

  • 8.

    Now roll the torchon, rolling the torchon towards yourself using the plastic to guide the pork to form a log. Once the log shape is loosely formed, push from the ends of the log to tighten up & make a firm cylindrical shape. Tie the ends of the plastic & chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

  • 9.

    When you are ready to cook, remove the torchon from the fridge & remove plastic, cut into 1 inch thick slices.

  • 10.

    Heat a little oil in a non stick fry pan. Sear slices for 3 minutes on either side or until nicely coloured.

  • 11.

    To make the coleslaw, combine shredded cabbage, salt and vinegar in a bowl. Leave for at least 15 minutes. Stir through olive oil and parsley.

  • 12.

    Serve crispy pig on a bed of coleslaw with a variety of pickled vegetables, mustards and fresh crusty bread.

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