Party Hedgehog - Mettigel - Raw Pork Hedgehog

Mettigel - Party Hedgehog Made with Raw Pork
Public Domain (Boris Kumicak, Kai Namslau)
    30 mins
Ratings

Make and eat a real party animal -- a hedgehog out of raw pork! This culinary delight became popular in the 1970s and is still around today. The pork is spread on bread or rolls, like liverwurst, seasoned and eaten fresh.

About Eating Raw Pork

Eating raw pork and raw beef is common in Germany. Germans buy raw pork already ground for raw consumption at the butcher's, where it is made fresh daily. There are many government guidelines for grinding this type of meat in order to keep it safe. Americans are much more cautious about their pork, especially since people worry about trichinosis, a pathogen which can infect humans. Eat any raw meat at your own risk.

USDA National Trichinae Fact Sheet describes the parasite and methods of detection. There is also a certification program for US farmers to prove that their herd and product is free of Trichinella.

The guidelines (Hachfleischverordnung)* in Germany include keeping the pork at 2°C at all times, grinding semi-frozen meat and selling the pork the day it is made. The ground meat is made from muscle with no tendons and should have a fat content of no more than 35%.

*Update: Hackfleischverordnung became obsolete in 2007 and rules for meat processing are now contained in the two documents: Tierische Lebensmittelhygiene-Verordnung and the TierischeLebensmittel-Überwachungsverordnung. All texts in German.

What You'll Need

  • 2 lbs. pork roast or ground pork
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 - 2 onions
  • Olives for decoration
  • Bread or rolls for serving

How to Make It

  1. You may choose to grind your pork yourself, to ensure its freshness. Buy a roast and trim it of most of the fat. Place the pieces in the freezer for about one hour, or until they are firm to the touch but not frozen solid.
  2. Use the large grinding plate and pre-cool all parts of the grinder.
  3. Grind the meat without adding any ice. Keep the collecting bowl chilled. Season meat lightly with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper. Some people like garlic or caraway in their raw pork, too.
  1. Make one larger, rounded shape and one smaller, oval shape and place side by side on a platter.
  2. Form the smaller oval into a pointed face.
  3. Cut the onion lengthwise into slivers. Start from the tail end and stick pieces of onion into the meat, poking out. Create rows (check picture for details).
  4. Decorate the head with olives for eyes and nose. Use toothpicks if necessary.
  5. Keep chilled during entire party (on a bed of ice, for instance) and serve with bread or rolls, more onion and mustard (non-standard).