Pig's Foot - Help!

triciaeSeptember 1, 2012

Went to Terra Firma farm today to pick-up 12 fresh pork hocks we'd ordered and grabbed a couple dozen eggs.

They gave us a 'complimentary' pig's foot. It's frozen.

Okay, I confess...I've never cooked with feet of any kind.

What do I do with this thing? Does it need a manicure like chicken? Plop it in a pot of soup? Do I do anything with it when the soup's done?

Assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

/tricia

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lindac

First of all....wash it LOL!
I think I would pickle it...I have no idea how...but I am sure there are recipes on line. We used to get them from the German deli when I was a kid...my mother and grandfather would have a feast, and I would take nibbles.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 5:50PM
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jadeite

How clean is it? Pigs feet can be very hard to clean. If it is pretty clean, there are many Asian recipes for cooking it. It has a lot of collagen and connective tissue. The skin also has a lot of fat.

This is one recipe from Grace Young's Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen:

2 lbs ginger
4 lbs pig's feet, front trotters
1 lb pig's feet, back trotters
one 20-oz bottle black vinegar
one 21-oz bottle sweetened black vinegar
4 large eggs
3 slabs brown candy, about 6 oz (brown sugar slabs)
1-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

Using a paring knife, scrape the ginger to remove all the peel. Place
ginger in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add all the pig's
feet and return to a boil. Drain and rinse the pig's feet under cold
water and draing. Using a disposable plastic razor, shave off any
visible hairs on the skin. Rinse the feet under cold water and drain
well. With a meat cleaver, chop the pig's feet into smaller pieces.

Drain the ginger, discarding the water. With the side of a cleaver,
smash the ginger and then cut into 1-inch thick chunks.

IN a large non-reacive pot, combine the ginger and 6 cups boiling
water. Bring to boil over high heat. Add the pig's feet and the
regular black vinegar and return to a boil over high heat. Cover,
reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring the pot occsionally
until the pig's feet are just tender enough to be poked easily with a
knife, about 1 hour. Add the sweetened black vinegar and return to a
boil, over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20
minutes. Remove pot from the heat and cool. REfrigerate and the
following day, remove the hardened fat on top. The flavor is always
better after 24 hours.

Hard-boil the eggs and remove the shells. Add the hard-boiled eggs to
the pig's feet and marinate 4 hours at room temperature. Cut each
slab of brown candy into 3 to 4 pieces.

Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the brown candy
and white vinegar and cook, stirring until the candy is dissolved and
mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve piping hot (no more
than 1-1/2 cups per person). A serving includes everything in the
pot; be advised the ginger is very spicy).

I hope that isn't too scary. I've made it several times, cutting the amount of ginger back to about 1/2 lb per 2 lbs of pigs feet. I also skip the eggs and use about 2-3 cups of black vinegar instead of both black and sweetened black vinegars. You can get this from Asian groceries.

Basically the recipe is pigs feet, vinegar, sugar, lots of ginger. It's a traditional dish for women who are breastfeeding, but eaten by everyone! Cook long and slow until the pigs feet are falling apart.

I don't know if I would do this for a single pigs foot, but I love the result.

Cheryl

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 6:34PM
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johnliu_gw

I use pigs' feet as a source of gelatin when making stock, sauces, stew, etc.

E.g. next time you make beef stew, throw the pigs foot in and then fish out the bones/bits when you are done.

I'm assuming it is cleaned, not straight from the pig . . .

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Islay_Corbel

One is not really much but if you can get hold of some more, try this :
For 3 or 4 people :
6 feet
2 bottles of dry white wine
20 small button onions
3 carrots
6 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
Thyme or rosemary
2 cloves
1 bouillon cube
1 soup spoon of corn flour
2 soup spoons vinegar
salt and pepper
bunch parsley

Pr�paration :

In a large pan, pour the vinegar and water, salt and the feet. Boil for 15 minutes then rince.

In a large pot, put carrot slices, onions, crushed garlic, herbs and spices, the feet, salt and pepper.

Cover with wine and bouillon cube and cook gently for 4 and a half hours.
Add the corn flour (mixed with a little of the liquid) and cook for another 30 mins.

Cool in the cooking pot.

De-grease the surface and re-heat the next day sprinkled with parsley. Serve with a puree of potatoes and celeriac or noodles.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 3:39AM
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arley_gw

I agree with johnliu: pigs feet are an excellent source of gelatin in stocks and sauces. They add an unctuous mouthfeel to simple dishes like beans. Clean it as best you can, blanch it if you want to, and just toss it in the pot.

But they're also an ingredient in high-falutin' dishes as well. At the link is a recipe for Estouffade de Noel, which is a fancy pot roast. It's from Molly Stevens' great book 'All About Braising'. The secret ingredient for this great dish is a humble pig's foot. The posting is from Niman Ranch, I think; they specify Niman Ranch products, but of course you can get your items from the local supermarket. I made this for a Christmas Eve dinner a while back; it got rave reviews.

Not much meat on a pig's foot. I got what I could from it, put it in the sauce, and gave the rest to the dog. She loved it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christmas Estouffade

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:20AM
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arley_gw

And one can't talk about porcine pedal extremities without thinking about the great song from the thirties: 'Gimme a Pig Foot (and a bottle of Beer)'

At the link is the original, done by the immortal Bessie Smith. But the song has been recorded by dozens of artists, from Benny Goodman to David Johansen to Cleo Laine to Billie Holiday to Champion Jack Dupree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gimme a Pig Foot (and a Bottle of Beer)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:39AM
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ruthanna_gw

If you only have one, I'd stick it in the freezer until the next time you're making a New England boiled dinner. Just blanch it in boiling water as the above recipes say, split it, wrap in cheesecloth and add to your cooking water.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:29AM
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triciae

Wow, thanks for all the suggestions. Since I only have one lonely trotter I got organic grass fed bones today at the farmer's market and am going to make stock tomorrow and toss it in. Anxious to see if there's a noticeable difference. If so, I may be a convert.

Thanks again...

/tricia

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 1:24PM
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lbpod

Growing up, my parents often made a dish called 'Studzienia'. They would boil pigs feet for hours,
and then, when it was kinda cool, the bones would be removed, and the bits of meat would be put into what
resembled a broth. Then the whole pot would be refrigerated and the result was a kind of 'jelly' product.
But boy was it tasty. It was common to drizzle vinegar
over scoops of it. I haven't had it in so long that
I may just have to try and make it myself. I did find
a site that describes the process, but after reading it,
I don't think the boiling time of the feet is long enough.
Here's the site:

Here is a link that might be useful: Pig's Feet Gelatin, with Meat

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:43PM
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triciae

lbpod,

Thanks so much for the link. I've saved the site. That looks like something my German-Russian ancestors would have eaten. Depending on how it goes with tomorrow's stock - I might give this a try. New ingredient for me - fun.

/tricia

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:57PM
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sushipup1

I just came across this, and thought of you, Tricia!

Here is a link that might be useful: trotters tom yum

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:18AM
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