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A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Jellied Pigs Feet

Thom Hackett

Servings:  1



The pig’s feet can be made several days in advance and refrigerated before serving cold or at room temperature. The jelled broth is eaten along with the meat from the pork shoulder and pig’s feet on pieces of rye bread. Buy the best rye bread you can find for this dish. My grandmother always served a big bowl of peeled, sliced cucumbers simply seasoned with salt, pepper, vinegar, a dash of sugar and chopped fresh dill that was always growing in her garden. Quart jars of pickled Hungarian green tomatoes and crispy mild pickled peppers were always on the table. The vinegar helps cuts the richness of the dish and is a perfect accompaniment for this very classic eastern European bit of comfort food.



3 pigs feet, cleaned well and split in half
1 lb pork shoulder
2 large carrots
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Cooking Method

  • Wash and scrub the pigs feet well.
  • Remove hair by use of razor or by blowlamp
  • Place all the ingredients in a large boiling pot and cover with water.
  • Bring water to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cover pot with lid and allow pigs feet to cook until tender, about 2 to 3 hours.
  • While your meat is cooking stir constantly and skim away any foam that develops.
  • When cooked allow to come off the boil and remove the legs from the broth.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Remove the shin bones to obtain easily sliced rounds of the cooked meat. Slice the meat into 0.5 cm (1/4") thick rounds - See more at:
  • Wash the pig’s feet well and place in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes and drain. Rinse the pig’s feet under cold water to remove any foam from the cooking.

    Place the pig’s feet back in the pot along with the pork should cut into 3-4 chunks, the vegetables and the seasonings. Cover with cold water and bring just a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat right away to low, cover and simmer for about 2-3 hours or until the meat is very tender and falls apart.

    With a slotted spoon gently remove the meat from the broth and set aside. Strain the broth through a strainer, discard the vegetables. Let the broth settle and skim the fat from the top of the broth. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if needed.

    Remove any large bits of fat and bone from the pork shoulder. Evenly divide the pork shoulder meat and the pig’s feet into 4 large soup plates or pie pans. Pour the strained broth over the meat to barely cover. Set aside in a cool place or refrigerator until the gelatin in the broth sets. Sprinkle the top of each plate liberally with more paprika before serving.

    Serve as with good rye bread, cold beer and cucumber salad. Serves 4-6.

    819 Mountshire Terrace, Chester, Virginia 23836 Phone: (804) 530-1183