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Mock Boar's Head
Arwen Southernwood

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Original Recipe

Note:  This recipe is conjectural; it uses foods known in period, prepared in ways that were known in period, but it is not a redaction of a recipe from a period source.  Caveat emptor!



3 pounds ground pork OR ground beef OR a mixture of both
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons Poudre Fort
1 large turnip, for tusks
2 round red radishes, for eyes

Preparation Steps

Mix meat and seasonings thoroughly.  Mold the head out of the meat mix, putting aside enough to mold the ears separately.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil.  Make the ears a little on the large side:  small pieces shrink more than large ones do. Wrap loosely in foil.  Put all this on a baking pan and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1.5 hours, removing the ‘ears’ halfway through.  Cool.
    To assemble, remove the foil from cooled pieces.  Insert toothpicks into the bases of the ears and attach in the proper positions.  Carve tusks out of turnips, and insert them with toothpicks at the base.  Add radish eyes, pushed slightly into the meat, and place “head” on a platter, surrounded with parsley, if desired.  Serve hot or cold.

Redaction Notes

This is my adaptation of the recipe for “Farsure” Boar’s Head, from Pleyn Delit.  It is inspired by descriptions of sotelties and spectacle foods, especially those where one kind of meat is made to look like another, and those where finely chopped/ground meat molded into various shapes (such as Pommes Dorres).  When I made this dish for the Costume Collegium V reception, I chose to make the boar's heads from beef rather than pork or a mixture, due to the fact that several attendees at that event do not eat pork.


  • Hieatt, Constance B. et. al.  Pleyn Delit, second edition. University of Toronto Press, 1996.

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