Recipe courtesy of Vida Cantina

Pig Head Platter

We try to source our pig heads from local farms. We brine the heads for 2 days, then confit them overnight. The next day, we cover the heads in our house-made salsa verde and roast them until the skin blisters. Served with our house-made tortillas and salsas, as well as cilantro, onions and limes, it is a great interactive dish for four people or one really hungry person.
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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 days 9 hr 20 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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3 cups salt

3 cups sugar 

6 chiles de arbol

5 cloves garlic 

3 bay leaves 

2 guajillo chiles 

1 bunch cilantro

1 pig head  


2 cups white wine

10 quarts lard 


2 cups Salsa Verde, recipe follows

Serving suggestions: tortillas, salsas, cilantro, limes, onions and sea salt

Salsa Verde:

10 pounds tomatillos, grilled

12 large cloves garlic

12 serrano chiles, grilled

6 poblano peppers, roasted and peeled

4 onions, chopped

3 bunches cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper


  1. For the brine: Combine the salt, sugar, chiles de arbol, garlic, bay leaves, guajillo chiles, cilantro and 10 quarts water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour the brine into a 16-quart container and let cool in the refrigerator. Submerge the pig head in the brine and refrigerate for 2 days.
  2. For the confit: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. In a bowl, mix the white wine with 2 cups water. Remove the pig head from the brine and rinse with the wine mixture. Place the head in a large pan and cover it with the lard. Cover the pan and cook for 8 hours.
  3. To roast: Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F. Very carefully, pull the pig head out of the confit and place in a pan. Cover the head with the Salsa Verde and roast until the skin starts to blister, 20 minutes.
  4. To serve: Transfer the roasted pig head to a wooden board and serve with tortillas, salsas, cilantro, limes, onions and sea salt.

Salsa Verde:

  1. Place the tomatillos, garlic, serrano chiles, poblano peppers, onions and cilantro in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
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