Just got back from the butcher with my split pig's head for my first shot at tamales. I realized I don't have any pots large enough to hold even half of the head. Is there another cooking solution that doesn't involve buying a pot? Can I roast it? Cook it in the oven with water tightly covered with foil? What works best? What parts do I remove before cooking? HELP my mother-in-law will be here in two days. Thanks in advance-cg
Since you have some time before mother in law comes, you might as well invest in a stockpot big enough to hold the head. Cheap stockpots are usually a good value since they don't need to be made of premium materials.
The last time I ordered a half pig head in a restaurant, the brain had been removed. It was in London during the height of the mad-cow scare. Probably if you're going to be braising the head for a long time, the brain would get overcooked anyway. And there's a surprising dearth of pig brain recipes in the literature of variety meat cookery. I don't know anything about how pig head tamales are made, but unless told otherwise, I would scoop out the brain and related material before cooking.