Friday, July 3, 2009

Jellied Pig Feet

I picked up four pounds of pig’s feet last night after reading some recipes for Jellied Pig’s Feet. I must confess that I have never tried pig’s feet before and this seemed as good a time as any.

The recipes all seemed pretty simple. Split and wash the feet, cover with water and simmer with aromatics for ~4 hours until those little feet fall apart. Strain the thickened stock, pick the meat off the feet and add the meet back to the stock. Skim the fat, pour the mix into a bowl and chill into a jelly overnight.

The next day slice thinly and serve with good bread with pepper vinegar on the side.

A few recipes called for adding ½ lb of pork butt to the feet while making the stock. I thought this was rather odd and not particularly authentic.

So, how did it go? Well, washing four pounds as pig’s feet is as strange as it sounds. It made me feel very Baptist. One thing that caught my attention was the presence of lots of fat/collagen/skin/toenails but the absence of any visible meat. I assumed the meat was between the skin and the bones and would reveal itself after the feet feel apart.

So….four hours later. Smells wonderful. The feet have essentially dissolved into bone tendons and skin. The meat is…..absent. I spent ten minutes digging through hot, gelatinous feet looking for anything that resembled meat. Nothing. And that, I realized, is why some people add ½ lb of butt.

At this point I have ~ 2 ½ quarts of killer pork jelly that I will thin out into a stock. Look out jambalaya! Live and learn.

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