Pressed Pork with Christmas Spices

S12 (US Season 6)EPISODE 09
This traditional pressed pork resembles some French relatives like fromage de tête.


  • Start by cutting the pork into two big pieces that are roughly the same size. Place the meat in a big pot along with the spices, 8 cups (2 liters) of water, and ½ cup (1 dl) coarse salt and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat and let the pork simmer for about two hours. Lift out the meat with a kitchen skimmer. Keep the juices.
  • Soak gelatin in a little cold water (about 1/2 cup, 1 dl). Put a damp cheesecloth or a kitchen towel over the meat presser. Alternatively, use a suitable tin or bread pan, loaf shaped. Remove the rind when the meat is cool enough to touch, but still very hot. Fish out the bay leaves from the meat juice and place them on the bottom of the meat press or pan. Cut off the top layer of the fat and place it flat over the bay leaves. Cut the meat into thin layers and stack them tightly, layer by layer. Sprinkle more spices in between the layers. Use the cloves, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds from the meat juices.
  • Remove the gelatin plates from the water and re-soak them in a couple of deciliters of the hot juices. (If you use gelatin powder, you can mix it right into the stock.) Pour the gelatin liquid over the meat, and add pressure to the meat. If you use a bread pan, you might need to cover it with something, for example another bread pan. Add about 4 lbs. (2 kg) of pressure on it, and additional weight after half an hour. Let it rest in a cool place and serve the next day.