Rolled pig's head with langoustine and a crispy ear salad

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A signature dish of The Kitchin restaurant, this pork and langoustine recipe requires a fair amount of patience and finesse, as well as some butchery skills. Rest assured though, it is well worth the effort.

First published in 2015




Rolled pig's head

Tomato concasse

Sauce Gribiche

To serve


  • Blow torch
  • Muslin cloth


To prepare the pig's head, remove all the excess hair with a blow torch. Using a very sharp knife, cut all the way down the middle of the head to the snout. Cut away the meat keeping it attached to the skin
Remove the ears and tie the head together with string, place into a large pan with the vegetables and cover with water, cook for one hour
Wrap the ears in muslin and add to the pan with the head cook for another 4 hours
If necessary, top up with water during the cooking process to ensure the contents are completely covered. After the 5 hours cooking time, remove the ears from the pan and allow the head to cool in the cooking liquor
Trim the muscles from the ears and tightly wrap in clingfilm. Press under a weight in the fridge overnight.
While still slightly warm, remove the cheeks from the head and separate the fat and meat from the skin. Discard the fat. Roll a piece of clingfilm out onto a chopping board and lay the skin outer side down.
Shred the meat from the cheeks into a bowl and mix with the herbs, cumin, fennel and a pinch of salt and pepper
Place an even line of shredded cheek mixture in the middle of the skin and roll into a tight sausage, approximately 6cm in diameter. Wrap tightly in the cling film and leave to set in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight
Preheat the oven to 170˚C/gas mark 3. Use a sharp knife to shred the ears into very fine strips. Place a frying pan over a medium-high-heat and add the olive oil
  • olive oil
Spread the pig's ears evenly into the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they start to sizzle and crisp up
Remove from the oven, place on absorbent kitchen towel and store in a warm place until required
During the time that the ears are setting, prepare the tomato concasse. Blanch and peel the tomatoes. Cut into quarters and remove the seeds. Add to a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat with the garlic and thyme
Cook for 1 1/2 hours until the tomatoes have broken down and reduced to 1/3 of the original volume. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and set aside to cool
For the sauce gribiche, hard boil the eggs in boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and place in cold water to cool. Peel and finely chop the eggs and set aside
In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Add the vegetable oil in a steady, thin stream - whisking continuously until completely emulsified. Mix in the capers, gherkins, parsley and a pinch of salt. Store in the fridge until ready to use - the sauce will keep for 2-3 days
Slice the pigs head into 3cm rounds and fry until crispy
To cook the langoustines, peel and remove all the shell apart from the tail. Use a knife to gently scrape away and remove the intestinal tract from the back of the langoustine
Add a dash of olive oil to a heavy based frying pan. Season the langoustines with salt and pepper and fry in the hot pan for 1-2 minutes, until slightly golden and just cooked through
To serve, place a few salad leave and a spoon of sauce Gribiche in the middle of the plate. Put a piece of pigs head on top and garnish with the tomato concasse. Scatter around the crisp pigs ears and serve with the langoustines.
  • 80g of mixed salad leaves
First published in 2015

A true pioneer of British food, Tom Kitchin thrived in some of the world's most demanding kitchens before returning to Scotland and opening The Kitchin. In the years since, he has influenced an entire generation of young chefs, sparking a culinary resurgence in Scotland and beyond.

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