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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cajun Hog’s Head Cheese


  • 1 fresh pork ham with skin
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 fresh pork hocks or pig’s feet
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Simmer all ingredients in a large pot with enough water to cover meat. Cook until tender (until the meat falls off the bone or pulls apart easily). Remove from broth and let cool.

    Chop meat and skin into small pieces (discard all fat). Return meat to broth and simmer until thick. Add 1/2 cup chopped green onions and cook for 1 minute. Pour into flat rectangular casserole dishes and let cool in refrigerator. Cut into serviceable portions (usually 3" x 3" squares).
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    1. I note there is no actual hog's head used in your Cajun hog's head cheese recipe. That makes the recipe useless for my needs. I have a hog's head coming in a week and need to know how to cook it. I would like to see a true recipe for hog's head cheese.

    2. Dear Anonymous,

      Hog's head cheese is not a 'cheese' - is a gelatinous pork meat product which is made from other parts of the pork as well as the head portion - like the feet, the heart, and some other internal organs. This is how it was made in the old days when nothing off the animal was wasted.

      The hog's head yielded little useful meat (mostly skin and fat) and it took extra time to prepare the head before boiling it. The eyeballs and brains had to be extricated from the animal and all of the bristle hairs had to be removed, either by scrapping the hair off after applying boiling water, or by shaving it off. I've done it both ways.

      It is an arduous task to say the least. Today the production of souse (another name for hog's head cheese) comes mostly from other parts of the animal.

      Before you get "ahead" of yourself, I hope this helps you out.

    3. Truly happy to find your blog! Thanks for the recipe and looking forward to reading more. I have started my own Louisiana cooking blog at I notice you do not have a "follow me" button on your page. It would really be helpful so that we can get updates whenever you post.

    4. Thanks, Eboni. Per your suggestion, we have added a 'follow-me' function to the website. Good luck with your blog!

    5. Hello, Mr.Gaspard, my name is Anthony Lee, and i am a native son of New Orleans, La. I was forced to leave my home due to Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Gaspard the reason i'm writting to you is I live in Indio, CA now and my boss asked me about some of cajun dishes, and i got a little home sick. Out here they don't make hog head cheese like we do back home, tried a lot of places can't find it any where; and i was hoping i can get you to send some of that delishous head cheese. My home addrees is 81412 Green Ave. Indio, CA 92201-4737, and my email add. is, Mr. Gaspard it would mean a lot to me if you could do this for me because i miss my home so much have a blessed day.

      Thank You
      Anthony Lee

    6. Hi Anthony, I also get homesick for real cajun cooking when I'm away too long. That's one of the reasons we produce Real Cajun Cooking - Pure and Simple. Unfortunately, its somewhat difficult and expensive to ship food across the country. We're not a commercial kitchen, and are not really set up for that. If you refer to my dad's recipe, Cajun Hog's Head Cheese, you'll see that the ingredients and instructions are quite simple, and should be relatively easy to acquire in your local market, and to make at home in your kitchen. If you cant find pork hocks or pigs feet, just ask your local butcher, or go to Ask The Meatman (look for the link in the left column). If you get up the courage to try it yourself, reply back here and let us know how it was. Good luck!

    7. Scott
      Enjoy reading all the good recipes on this site. I live in Washington State but a native of Port Arthur, Texas.
      I really miss being able to buy Boudain and Hog head cheese here. I tried the Hog head cheese recipe but it did not turn out for me. Can you give me an idea about how long to simmer it? I do not think I cooked it long enough to thicken properly. How thick is it suppose to get before placing in pan to refrigerate. Please any help will be appreciated.
      Thank you

    8. Hi George. Thanks for your comment and question. Scott is out-of-pocket this weekend. I am his dad so I don't think he will mind if I answer your question.

      Usually there is enough gelatin produced from the skin, bones and joints of a healthy hog to do the trick. There are times, however, when you may have to give your recipe a little help by adding a couple packets of unflavored gelatin to the broth. This will produce a firm and more pliable cheese. It is also important to let the cheese set and cool long enough to produce the desired results.

      Boil the pork so that it falls off the bones or pulls apart easily. Cut into small pieces, return the meat to the broth and added gelatin, mix well, simmer for a few more minutes and let it harden in the refrigerator. Hope this helps... JRG

    9. Thanks for your response, I plan to try this again in a few weeks. I will let you know how it turns out.
      I was also wondering would it be possible to post a picture of the finished Hog's Head Cheese? Would be good to have something to compare with.
      Thanks so very much.
      A Displaced Cajun

    10. Thanks again for your comment. I have made a mental note to take some photos of the cheese the next time I prepare some.

      Have a great day!

    11. This might be a good souse, hog heads cheese is a different flavor and somewhat texture. The process might be the same the end result is not. We grew up eating both. Hogs head cheese is indeed made with the head with the eyes, brain, and jowls removed. Often more than one head would be used. It also has vinegar in it where souse doesn't. That alone plays a major part in the flavor difference.

      Still a nice recipe and thanks for sharing

    12. Dear Anonymous,

      I appreciate your comments. If you would like to personally change anything in this recipe you have my permission to do so. And, I would be happy to publish any improvements to this recipe which you think needs to be made... as long as it is not done 'anonymously'. Thank you, and have a great day.


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