Soused Hog’s Face

(being the most favourite dish of Captain Jack Aubrey, Esq)

  • 1 large hog’s face
  • 5-6 gloves garlic, sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp sage
  • 2 large onions, sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • large knob of butter
  • 1 750-mL bottle grog, preferably British Navy Standard

Preheat the oven to 450°. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the hog’s face and brown quickly on all sides, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the rosemary and sage all over the hog’s face and surround it with the onion slices. Place in the oven on the middle rack and roast for 30mins. Remove from the oven and souse the hog’s face thoroughly with the bottle of grog, being careful to avoid any splashing. Tent loosely with aluminum foil, place the hog’s face back in the oven, and roast for 1-1 ½ hrs until it is nicely brown on top and the edges are crispy. When it is finished, add a large knob of butter to the surrounding sauce and stir, then let it sit covered for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Pair with more grog, or a nice French claret.