Nothing Says "I Love You" Like Giving Head! The Perfectly Unique Holiday Gift. Only at Vallarta Supermarkets.

Lowest Pig Head Prices of the Year!

Still looking for that elusive gift for the person who seemingly has everything? I mean, EVERYTHING — including the Nintendo Wii. Why not give him or her head? Gee, that didn’t come out right. How about considering the gift of a pig’s head? Hey, it’s on mega-sale this week only at Vallarta Supermarkets in Southern and Central California. At 69 cents per pound, this pork head is a true holiday deal. You’ll totally thank me later!

To really complete this heady gift, I’d recommend including a couple of recipes. This not only demonstrates that you are an ingenious gift giver but also a considerate one too.

I found this recipe blurb for pig’s head in an old New York Times piece. It’s borrowed from Elizabeth David's cookbook, Mediterranean Food, published in 1950.

This recipe is for a Greek dish named picti otherwise known as headcheese:

A pig's head is boiled for hours in water strongly flavoured with bay leaves and peppercorns. When cooked it is cut up into chunks, the juice of 3 or 4 lemons is added to the strained stock, which is poured over the brawn, arranged in large earthenware basins, and left to set. Not very elegant, but usually very good.

Okay, if that recipe is too vague or démodé, then the Crisp Roasted Pig’s Head recipe is what you’ll be stuffing down Mr. Hard-to-Buy-For’s stocking.

Crisp Roasted Pig’s Head from Innards and Other Variety Meats by Jana Allen and Margret Gin.

1 pig's head, cleaned and tongue removed
1 tspn five-spice powder
2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup bourbon
1 cup honey, combined with 1 cup boiling water

Remove any hair on head by singeing over an open flame or plucking. Scrub well (using a vegetable brush, if desired) and then sprinkle with salt, rubbing it into the skin. Rinse well with cool water; pat dry. Remove any excess fat.

Place head in a colander in the sink and pour a kettle full of boiling water over. Let cool.

Combine the five-spice powder, salt, oyster sauce and bourbon. Slash the meat on underside of head and rub half of the spice mixture into the meat. Rub the remaining spice mixture onto the skin. Place head upright on a rack in a large baking pan. Bake at 375F for 1 1/2 hours. Lower heat to 325F and continue cooking for an additional 2 hours or until the meat is cooked through, basting the skin well every 30 minutes with the honey-water mixture. (Cooking time will depend on the size of the head.) If ears begin to brown too quickly during cooking period, wrap them with foil.

When head is done, remove to platter and garnish with watercress or coriander. Chop head into pieces and serve with sweet vegetable relish or plum sauce.

Finally, the best part — wrapping the pig’s head. It's a snap! Just pick up some ribbon or reuse any leftover from last Christmas. Tie a big bow on top of the pig’s head, gingerly place it under the tree, then sit back and watch your loved one’s face light up with pure holiday joy!

But if you secretly want one of these beauties for yourself, I can't blame you. Everyone knows it's much better to receive head than to give it.

Hurry! The big sale ends this week, just in time for last-minute shoppers! Happy Hogidays!


Unknown said…
That is seriously the most unattractive pig's head, EVER. I mean, they could've gussied it up with some accessories - an apple in the mouth, maybe.

But cooked right, even something so fugly can become magic in the form of sisig.
Chubbypanda said…
I'm down with that. 'course, $0.69 a pound isn't that much of a bargain when you consider how much of it is bone. Still some good eatin' on one of those heads.
Eddie Lin said…

beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this little piggy head is just dreamy in my eyes.

SISIG RULES! keep a lookout for my sisig post coming soon! btw, where did you have your sisig? was that your blog you linked me to?


you cheap bastard. a pig lost its head and now it's on sale for only 69cents/lb. and you're complaining?? it's xmas. how dare you! you'll be visited by three pig spirits this xmas eve. you've been warned.
elmomonster said…
I just came over from Passion For Food...other than your awesome title, I think she's got you beat:

Check it out.
Eddie Lin said…
Yes, Elmo, but did she eat it? I actually enjoyed pig's noggin in the form of sisig. Did Ms. Passion For Food chow down passionately on bbq dog?
Anonymous said…
That's the spirit!

So you can see what a little busting of balls can do.
Very well done.
elmomonster said…
'Course not! Only the Deep End Diner would dare gnash his canines on canines. If only it weren't taboo, planning a trip to Vietnam or Korea soon?

By the way, about sisig, there's this place in Artesia called Magic Wok that does the most amazing version. Not from the head though...just from leftover lechon kawale.

But they do have dinuguan (blood stew) and crispy pata (a whole deep fried ham hock).

Wash it down with a bittermelon stir fry!
Lea said…
I'll take a cut of that cheek, thank you. :)
musiklvr said…
haha! oh my. what a delightful gift idea. how i would love to give a head to somebody. the reaction alone would be priceless.

Helpful Hint: search yummy recipes from your mobile phone using Boopsie.

perfect for recipes on the go.
Rose said…
Totally unrelated to pig's heads, but I thought of a question for you, Eddie!

I lived in Taiwan when I was growing up and distinctly remember seeing black-skinned chickens at the supermarket, with dark greenish coloured flesh. Does this actually exist, or did I just dream them?
Eddie Lin said…

thank you! happy new year!


here you go, a big plate of cheeky cheek. love your blog. you're a very talented artist!


you're more twisted than me. i can tell you the giftee's reaction would be sheer terror followed by hyperventilating and passing out. actually that'd be worth it!


this black-skinned, green-fleshed chicken of your dream (nightmare) is in fact REAL! these beastly birds are sold in los angeles chinese grocery stores from time to time. i've eaten this type of chicken in a soup. it was kind of a medicinal soup that included all sorts of herbs and bark and strange roots.

how long were you in taiwan? i was born in tapei. oh, by the way, do aussies like musk flavored lifesaver candies? i just tried one and it was awful. i hear it's an australian thing. this flavor isn't actually available in the US. just curious. happy new year!
SteamyKitchen said…
I'd stick that entire head in my oven and slow roast until the snout falls off. then eat with tons of chilli sauce!
Eddie Lin said…
Steamykitchen, you kinky little bitch.
Rose said…
I lived in Taipei between the ages of about 7 and 11, going to the Taipei British School.. what an experience! It definitely influenced the type of food I like - Asian food is the norm in my house.

Yes, musk flavoured lifesavers.. we also have musk flavoured sticks and various other things musk-ish! At discount candy stores you can actually buy huge bags of the 'hole' of the lifesaver.

Perhaps I should send you some more strange Australian foods.. in some rural parts of Australia, you can get a type of ant that has a huge sac of honey-type stuff on it. People eat them whole and alive. Oh, and witchety-grubs and the like..
Anonymous said…
En este blog escribe la autentica Megan? Desde Spain un beso para Megan, de un fan de Lonely Planet y de Megan...

Does Megan write in this blog? Is she the real Megan, that of the documentaries? From Spain a kiss for Megan, of a fan of Lonely Planet and of Megan...
Anonymous said…
Everyone out there knows that I am a PROFESSIONAL CHEF educated at Peter Kump's Institute of Fine Cuisine in downtown Brooklyn. Because of my extensive education, I would usually never consider cooking something so disgusting.

However, my new boyfriend "THE MANAGER" and his family were born and raised in the swamps of Florida and apparently they eat stuff like this (although they definitely did NOT like my fake crab meat, spelled with a "K").

So, I am going to cook this for him, well-done (because he doesn't have any teeth left). Also, I don't want to feed him too much fat because he already weighs 437 pounds, almost twice my 225.

My biggest concern is that cooking it will smell up the trailer house, and my roommate (she works at nights, you understand) sleeps during the day and HATES strong cooking odors.

Thanks for the recipe. You can visit my internationally famous website on MySpace and find some of my award-winning recipes.
Anonymous said…
Great recipe love it :) thanks looking forward to more recipes
1000steps said…
Agree on that Valentine's gift... What... wait... Are you serious.. Damn.