Serving
(click to enlarge)

Pickled Pig Feet #2
Worldwide   (except Israel and Muslim regions)

Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
5-1/2 #  
**
2+ days  
Must

You either like them or you don't - but if you like them homemade is far superior to those from major meat packing companies, which tend to be mushy, greasy and acidic - or even the deli and Mexican brands. Pickling spice mixes can vary a lot depending on your taste, but this set will do a fine job. See also Note-5 and our other recipe Pickled Pig Feet #1. which doesn't use potassium nitrate.




6
-----
6
1/2
3
-----
a/r
6
-----
6
2
1/2
5
1/2
1/2
3/4
1/2
-----
#
---
T
t
qt
---

oz
---


t

T
t
in
T
---
Pig's Feet (1)
-- Cure
Salt
Saltpeter (2)
Water
---------
Vinegar (3)
Onion
-- Spices
Chilis dry (4)
Bay Leaf
Peppercorns
Cloves
Coriander seed
Mustard seed
Ginger sliced
Salt
---------

  1. Prepare jars sufficient to hold the feet. They should be as sterile as possible (a thorough cleaning with a strong disinfecting cleanser like Comet or an even stronger "institutional" version seems to do fine).
  2. Wash PIG FEET well to remove all bone particles.
  3. Mix the Cure in a large pot, then add the Pig Feet Bring the pot to just short of a boil (210°F/99°C). Hold it there for a few minutes so the feet are warmed through (if it boils you'll have to deal with the scum).
  4. Set aside, tightly covered, for 12 hours or a bit more.
  5. Bring up to 180°F/82°C and hold there until feet are cooked to the right state. At this low temperature that will take over 2 hours. They are done when the large bones could be pulled out, but not too easily.
  6. Drain the Pig Feet. Rinse any scum off them and remove any bones that are loose and not serving any purpose.
  7. Clean the pot and return the Pig Feet. Pack them down, then pour in enough VINEGAR to just about cover. Remove the Pig Feet again and set aside.
  8. Cut ONION into lengthwise wedges and stir into the Vinegar, then stir in all Spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  9. Put the Pig Feet back in and bring to a full boil. Turn off heat and with tongs, transfer the Feet into the sterile jars. Pour the pickle vinegar over to cover. You can strain it or not, as you wish. If you have extra pickling vinegar save it in a separate jar for topping off as you remove pig's feet from the jar.
  10. Cover jars tightly and let sit in a cool place for 3 days or more before you start eating them (yeah, sure, like you're going to be able to do that).
  11. When serving, rinse in warm water to reduce acidity.
NOTES:
  1. Pig Feet:   Buy your pigs feet split in half lengthwise (band sawed, actually), then crosswise into halves. Packing full length feet is more difficult, and you may not always want to eat a whole one all at once.
  2. Saltpeter:   This may be Potassium or Sodium Nitrate - I use Potassium Nitrate. The action of this chemical greatly improves the color and texture, as well as supressing bacterial growth. For details and pros and cons see our Curing Salts page.
  3. Vinegar:   Buy lots of vinegar. Get it at a Restaurant Supply where it's under $1.50/gallon, not at the supermarket where it's 5 times that or more. Generally, Distilled White Vinegar, or you can use the fake Cider Vinegar (white vinegar and apple juice) sold in gallon jugs (real Cider Vinegar comes only in quarts or smaller).
  4. Chilis:   6 Japones will not make the feet very hot. 6 dried Thai chilis are a different matter though. De Arbols are in between. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Method:   The Salt and Potassium Nitrate cure has some advantages over pickling without it. The meat retains a better color, and the gelatin doesn't migrate into the pickle liquid so much. Without the cure the pickle will become gelled solid after a while. No, the saltpeter won't cause your pecker to go flat, that's an old boarding school myth, but English gin will do that. Potassium Nitrate is easy to order on the Internet. In my childhood we could get it cheaply from the local drug store, but I'm not sure that is still possible.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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