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Steamed sheep's head





Bondings
Warning: This is not for the faint of heart (I'll be posting pictures). I hope I'm not making any vegetarians angry with this either.

So I went to the butcher shop today and they had a few sheep's heads for 2 Euro's each. I obviously couldn't resist the temptation and I bought one of them.

It looks pretty disgusting though, especially with the big eyes and the teeth/tongue still on it. But I think I can manage to cook and try to eat it.

Anyway, I actually had to buy a steamer (or steaming pot, I'm not sure what the correct English term is for it). It's very big. I intend to steam the head inside it.

In the big pot underneath I put a lot of water with salt, pepper and bouillon. The sheep's head is covered with salt, pepper, garlic and chili herbs (a collection of several herbs since I didn't have pure cumin which seems the best for it). Cooking time should be about 3-4 hours according to the few recipes I found on the internet.

I'll update with pictures and how it goes along.
Bondings
Ok here are the pictures of the head:



Bondings
And this is the steamer where I'll be steaming it:



Bondings
I just noticed on the pictures that I used the wrong heating button. Ouch, not bad for the heating thing and that explains why it took so long for the water to become hot. Embarassed
ocalhoun

No thanks.

I'm normally not a vegetarian... but I think I just temporarily became one.
Bondings
ocalhoun wrote:

No thanks.

I'm normally not a vegetarian... but I think I just temporarily became one.

I understand. I don't think I'll ever buy/eat (I only managed to eat a bit of the meat, which actually tasted ok) one again, I also find it disgusting. I just wanted to try it out. Wink
menino
I also find it distateful, but a lot of people in India and even the middle east find it edible.
I think they eat the brains also.
GuidanceReader
I think that looks awesome and I am hungry now... But I am pretty strange when it comes to what I find edible.
deanhills
Don't know how I missed this thread. I've never been partial to eating something that is looking at me or resembles the live animal too closely. Sort of looks a bit gross. However, if the sheep's head were to be split into two symmetrical pieces like the photo below I'd be completely OK with it - looks even interesting that way:



Splitting the head as symmetrically as that probably needs to be done at an abattoir using a professional sheep head splitting machine:


Source: http://www.toreuse.com/category/agriculture-and-food-processing/slaughterhouse-equipment/head-processing/

The Sardinians are apparently quite partial to sheep's heads - apparently very nutritious and they like to roast it on a spit. I think if one has grown up with it, it should not really be that big a deal. It seems to have plenty of nutrition as well.
TurtleShell
You know, as a vegetarian I should be horrified. Instead, I think this is great. I'm not honestly sure what motivated you to do this, but I don't think it's right to try to distance yourself from the food you eat. Eating meat means that some animal had to die, but I think a lot of people have this attitude, where they don't want to think about the animal. and it seems disrespectful to the animal to hide from yourself, psychologically, the fact that you're eating something that had eyes and a brain.

This is fascinating. Gross, but fascinating:) I'm wondering...was it...um, tasty?

By the way, I'm worried this post sounds judgmental. That wasn't my purpose. I don't abstain from eating meat for humanitarian reasons. I'm a vegetarian because my partner is a vegetarian and I'm the family cook, plus there are some environmental reasons and also because I don't mind being a vegetarian, and I think it's the right thing to do. Like...recycling.
ocalhoun
That's true...

My thoughts on the subject are that eating plants also usually hurts/kills the plants too... so there's no real way to win.

Instead, I just mentally thank the plants and animals on my plate before eating, and consign it to the way nature works.
loremar
It looks like a huge chicken.

Looks yummy actually... It should after you cook it.
I'm curious how'd it taste if you make a lechon sheep. I mean like roasting the whole sheep. Would it's skin be crispier than the pig's.... Twisted Evil
bluepig83
I don't imagine how much meat would be on the sheep's head. Perhaps that's why it's only 2 Euros at the butcher store. How did steaming the head come out? I would've thought maybe roasting it in the oven might have a better result?
nickfyoung
Doesn't look too good to me. We never eat sheep or lamb mainly because my wife doesn't like the smell. Actually many Asians wont eat sheep because of that. I remember working with a lot of Koreans and when our company produced lamb for lunch none of them would touch it.
Young lamb can be quite tasty and is very popular in Australia especially lamb chops and lamb roast but when it gets too old as in mutton, it tasted horrible. Many culture enjoy mutton because Australia used to export live sheep by the thousands to the middle east.
I will stick to my rump steak thank you. If beef is aged correctly it can't be beaten. I worked for a resort once and the head chef would not accept any beef delivered if it was less than 3 months old. Old steak is tender and tasty. The head of the cow is the only part they throw away and they are usually buried. At least there is no waste to the sheep if you are eating the head. Good luck.
GuidanceReader
bluepig83 wrote:
I would've thought maybe roasting it in the oven might have a better result?


yup... now that sounds good...
Ghost Rider103
Oh man, I don't know how you ate that LOL.

I'm all for trying new things, but I'm not so sure I could manage to get myself to try something like this. I'm not too disturbed by the looks, but I'm not used to eating any sort of meat the comes from the head (that I'm aware of anyway, lol).

Just curious, what parts of the head did you actually eat and was it good? What parts of the head were gross and why?
Peterssidan
It looks like there is still hair on it. The eyes, I wouldn't want to eat those, or the brain. Is the head normally thrown away and that's why it was so cheap? Can't they rip off the meat from the skull and sell it as "Sheep Fillet"?

What did the head look like when it was finished?
fuzzkaizer
apart from that I find it an interesting intercultural cooking experiment, the argumentations above on vegitarianism seemed also interesting to me:
if one is a vegetarian out of 'reasonable' reasons (that is, for example, because it's just bad logistics to feed - often under miserable conditions - an animal with some tons of plants to get a little bit of it's meat - one could eat a fractional amount of that plants by oneself to have the same nutritional effect), and not because one dislikes meat, it is plausible to think along the following argumentation-line:
Why not eat those things like the animals heads, if they taste all right? If other cultures can do that, why do we have to surrender to some irrational and cultural trained revulsions at some sorts of food? It's a waste of material on the one hand, and also a waste of pleasure on the other hand...
ocalhoun
fuzzkaizer wrote:

Why not eat those things like the animals heads, if they taste all right? [...] It's a waste of material

Just because they're not usually eaten the way Bondings prepared it there doesn't mean they are wasted.

Scraps of meat too small or too taboo to sell individually will usually end up in pet food or hot dogs or low-quality ground meat... and just about all the parts of the animal have some value to somebody as byproducts and they have their own uses.
busman
Can I say this without sounding offensive? If it's dead it's already dead right? To waste it would be a bigger disgrace than eating it right? Even from a humanitarian point of view I would think that wasting the food while humans are starving would be a bigger disgrace right? Looks brutal btw (in a metal sort of way) , but I would eat it. Why would that sheep die in vain if it was to be wasted (quite as I am right now lol)?

Was it any good @Bondings?
fuzzkaizer
ocalhoun wrote:
...just about all the parts of the animal have some value to somebody as byproducts and they have their own uses.

yeeees, of course you are right, I was getting too pathetic Embarassed
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