Help me with my Soused Hog's Face

A couple of years ago, I hosted an Aubrey/Maturin themed dinner for my friends.

Menu (fancy version here):

[li]Kickshaws[/li][li]Strasbourg Pie[/li][li]Syllabub[/li][li]Spotted Dog with Custard Sauce[/li][li]Lots and lots of port and claret and madeira[/li][/ul]

Debrief of meal on SDMB here.

I’ve since made spotted dog several times and it is truly magnificent. If the idea of suet in a pudding puts you off, Get Over It! It’s incredible. Just the smell is heavenly. I’ve also made Lobscouse a couple of times and it’s pretty good.

Anyhoo. My friends have been bugging me to make Soused Hog’s Face and I plan to do it for our next camping trip pot luck. I have some problems interpreting the recipe though and y’all were such a help last time around, I thought I’d enlist you as under-stewards again.

I’m looking at the recipe in the standard text for Aubrey/Maturin recipes, Lobscouce and Spotted Dog, and the impression I get is that all the meat is removed from the pig’s head and served cold.

That’s fine, I guess - and probably quite delicious - but the image in my mind from the books has a big, steam pig’s head on a platter that they take turns to carve off bits of cheek. A platter of cold cuts labelled "Soused Hog’s Face’ wouldn’t be nearly so dramatic.

Has anyone ever tried this dish? Should I serve it cold? Sounds sad.

Will I have trouble acquiring the raw pig’s head? We have a pretty good butcher nearby and I plan to ask him to get me one. I’ll souse it myself.

I don’t know how to make this stuff, but my grandmother used to. Head cheese, or souse meat (I take that to be sow’s meat) was served cold, and formed, like Spam. Is that anything like what you’re asking about?

‘Soused’ refers to the process of soaking the meat in alcohol but, yes, from what I can gather from my recipe, the meat seems to be pressed and formed like spam.

There’s an Aubrey-Maturin Facebook page that’s pretty active, and somebody on there was recently cooking hog’s face. He appeared to be grilling it. You might try asking him where he got it.

Thank you! I just joined!

I read the OP, but have to say that I have no idea what any of those dishes are. The references in the link to things like “drowned baby” make me believe that despite all those years I spent overseas, I am woefully uncultured.

Oh come now, I’m sure you’re quite attractive really. But if you do want to improve your appearance you might try not getting soused so much, eating less and exercising more.

(Well, somebody had to say it! Good luck with the dinner kevlaw, sounds delicious.)

The recipe book, Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, is a collection of dishes eaten by Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Stephen Maturin in the series Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian.

The captain and the doctor ate rather a lot and their menus are described in some detail. The authors of Lobscouse etc researched all the recipes and collected them together. Their book is fun reading (if you are familiar with the fiction) and many of the recipes are surprisingly tasty, if a little unusual compared to modern recipes.

I could have sworn the guy said soused OX face in the movie.