Bowl of Pig's Feet Stew with whole Eggs
(click to enlarge)

Stewed Pig Feet with Caramel
Cambodia

Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
3-3/4 hr  
Yes

This is a very flavorful stew for the porkophile. Caution: know that there is no civilized way to eat this (see Comments). Serve with plenty of French Bread or Jasmine Rice to sop up the delicious broth. French Bread? Cambodia was part of French Indochina, so bread, though not used with Vietnamese abandon, is not unknown in Cambodia.



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Pig Feet (1)
Eggs, hard boiled  
-- Aromatics
Lemon Grass (2)
Scallions
Ginger Root
Garlic
Chilis, dry (3)
Star Anise
-- Sauce
Sugar (4)
Water
Stock (5)
Tuk Trey (6)
Soy Sauce
-- Serve with
French Bread
Jasmine Rice
Prep:   -   (20 min - exclusive of boiling and peeling eggs)
  1. Hard boil EGGS by best method for Boiling Eggs.
  2. Wash PIG FEET to remove bone chips and dry thoroughly.
  3. Peel just the hardest outside leaves from the LEMON GRASS. Use the bottom 9 inches, cut crosswise into three pieces and lightly bruised with your kitchen mallet.
  4. Cut SCALLIONS in half crosswise and bruise lightly.Slice GINGER about 1/8 inch thick. Peel GARLIC and crush lightly.
  5. Mix all Aromatics items together.
Run:   -   (3-1/4 hrs)
  1. Make Caramel - see Note-4. In a small saucepan place Sugar and Water. Over very moderate heat, stir until sugar dries out into a crust, then let it melt until the color of dark tea. Remove from heat. Carefully stir 1 cup of the Stock into the sauce pan. The caramel will seize hard, but set it back on the moderate heat and stir until it has dissolved.
  2. Into a suitable heavy bottomed pot, pour Caramel mix, the remaining Sauce items, the Pig's Feet and the Aromatics mix. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered until until the meat is quite tender. about 2-1/2 hours.
  3. Take off heat and carefully skim off fat from the surface - or see Note-7 for my method.
  4. Mix in the Boiled Eggs. Simmer another 10 minutes uncovered, turning the eggs often for even color.
  5. Serve warm, with a good amount of the broth, and plenty French Bread or Jasmine Rice to sop up that delicious broth.
NOTES:
  1. Pig Feet:   These are now widely available in ethnic markets here in Southern California (except Jewish and Islamic of course). They are commonly already cut into pieces and shrink wrapped in foam trays. They should be cut in half lengthwise, then two cuts crosswise (three makes the pieces too small). If you find them whole, have the butcher saw them for you. For details see our Pig Feet page.
  2. Lemon Grass:   These tough grass stems are now widely available in North American markets that serve a Southeast Asian community. I've even seen them in some Korean markets. For details see our Lemon Grass page.
  3. Red Chilis:   Two dried red Thai chilis will make this dish very moderately hot by Southern California standards. See our Chili Page for details.
  4. Caramel:   The caramel would never be made as part of the recipe in Cambodia or Vietnam - it's a kitchen staple, made in larger batches (see our recipe Caramel Sauce). If you have it, just use 2 Tablespoons of it instead of making it here.
  5. Stock:   This should be a light Pork Stock, but if you don't have that, Chicken Stock or plain Water can be used.
  6. Tuk Trey:   This is an indispensable Cambodian condiment and ingredient, nearly identical to Vietnamese Nuoc Cham. It is easy to make by our recipe Tuk Trey.
  7. Method:   The pattern recipe was finished as above. The way I do it makes for a nicer looking finish. I strain out the solids, then carefully remove the pig's feet (and a few of the nicer solids to use as a sort of garnish). I discard the remaining solids and defat the broth thoroughly using my gravy separator. Then the Broth, Pig's Feet and Eggs go in. The pot is brought back to a boil and simmered for 10 minutes as above. Actually, I've found the eggs don't really color much in 10 minutes.
  8. Comments:   There is no way to eat this dish except with the fingers - those of one hand holding a chunk of pig foot to bite off pieces, those of the other hand removing bones from the mouth and tossing them in the bone bowl - and it's a bit sticky. Supply piles of paper napkins, a bone bowl, and if possible, finger bowls. There should be an easily available place to wash hands and mouth. Clearly this is a "guy dish", but, in this day and age, with girls now even allowed to eat Kash in Armenia, they are welcome to indulge if they please.
  9. 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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