When the food namers of yore got together for their annual meat dish naming shindig I can only assume ‘Brawn’ was discussed late in the evening after the consumption of much ale. How about Brawn? Yeah, that’ll do… It’s a name that doesn’t inspire much confidence. The alternative, ‘head cheese’ isn’t much better! As a result it has faired badly over the years with rumours of it’s horrendous contents including brains and eyes. It has had no one to champion its cause, until now that is. I hereby announce myself as Brawn’s champion!
Firstly may i dispense with the myths. It does not contain brain or eyes! Sometimes it might contain tongue. In fact it is very much a terrine. So why is it not called so? We have ham hock terrine, why not another ham related terrine? I think principally this is because the majority of the meat is taken from the pigs head (hence the belief that it’s brain) and ‘Pig face terrine’ doesn’t sound so appetising and certainly wouldn’t make it’s way on to many restaurant menus!
It’s essentially a spiced terrine, and from the variety I picked up in Morrisons (that champion of cheap cuts) nutmeg being the main one (often it’s allspice or bay). And it’s cheap, £1.50 for a pot and a good alternative to ham. So that’s pretty much how I treated it. Sliced on bread, sliced on crackers. I also attempted a brawn broth which was OK but not worthy of a post (some modifications required first). Then one day Jo (my other half) was having a cheese toastie and I thought let’s add some sliced brawn! And thus the Brawn toastie was born!
Take two slices of good thick white bread. Toast one side. Turn over and lightly toast the other and then butter the edges so they don’t catch. layer slices of brawn and cheese on one half. Return to the grill until the cheese has melted (the jelly will melt too). Construct toastie and then gloat about the fact that your toastie is considerably better than your other half’s!