Aspic Cupola – (Kocsonyakupola)

Aspic Cupola - (Kocsonyakupola)
Ingredients serves 12:
4 pigs’ feet (approx. 3 1/2 lbs/1.7 kg), 1 ham hock (approx. 2 1/2 lbs/1.2 kg), 1 pig’s head with skin (1 1/2 lbs/80 dkg), 12 oz/40 dkg pork rind, 18 oz/60 dkg pork shoulder, 6-8 parsley roots (not more than 1 1/2 lbs/80 dkg), 3-4 carrots, 12 cloves garlic, 2 onions, 2-3 tablespoon salt or flavor enhancer, 30-35 black peppercorns, 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, 1/3 cup fresh celery leaves, 1 teaspoon hot Red Gold paprika cream or “Strong Steven” (hot cherry pepper paste)
Garnish: 2-3 hardboiled eggs, parsley, ground black pepper, Hungarian paprika

With the blade of a small knife scrape the skin of the meat, singe off any hairs that may have remained. Next, wash the meat thoroughly. Split the pig’s feet in half (the rear hoofs should be cut into three pieces). You will need a good cleaver and experience for this. Barring these, ask the butcher to cut up the meat for you. After splitting the hoofs, wash them well to make certain no bone fragments remain. Clean the parsley root and carrots, peel the garlic and wash the onions with their skins on. Place the vegetables and meat in a 10-quart/liter pot. Pour 5 quarts/liters cold water over it (in the end 4 quarts/liters should remain), season with salt or flavor enhancer, peppercorns, fresh parsley and celery leaves, add the paprika cream. Bring to a rapid boil on high heat then cover, leaving a finger’s opening for the steam to escape. Cook on low heat for about 2-1/2 hours (if it boils too rapidly the broth will become cloudy). It must not be stirred while cooking. Once done and the meat is tender, let the pot sit for 15 minutes. Strain carefully through a thin-weave linen cloth or several layers of cheesecloth so as to not break the jellied liquid or allow it to become cloudy. When the meat, carrots, and parsley root have cooled, place them covered in the refrigerator. The liquid takes much longer to cool and congeal so it is necessary to cool it overnight. The following day, scoop off the fat that has risen to the top with a spoon. Remove the bones from the ham hocks and pig’s head and slice up the meat. Place the meat in a dozen 16 oz./half-liter wide brimmed cups or 4 large quart/liter bowls. (You may also use traditional soup bowls but you will not have
a cupola in the end.) Surround these with the cutup boned pigs feet, a small piece of pork skin and 1-2 slices of pork shoulder. Garnish with wedges of hard-boiled egg, rounds of carrots and fresh parsley leaves. Warm the broth until it dissolves and ladle it over the ingredients in the dish. Keep in a cool place until the liquid congeals again. At serving time, insert the bowls into hot water for a few seconds and invert the contents onto a plate. Sprinkle paprika and freshly ground black pepper on top of the cupola as a garnish. The aspic is traditionally served accompanied by pickles or other pickled vegetables and/or horseradish, and fresh bread.

Preparation time: 2 days, but only about 2 hours of work
Calories per serving: 644
Skill: Not easy to prepare