pigs feet

Cooking Pigs’ Feet

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I’ve never seen fresh pigs’ feet in the grocery store like in the photograph.  However, I have seen pickled pigs’ feet in glass jars. I don’t like looking at them either fresh or pickled.  I might try the meat if it was cooked off the foot bone, though.

INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS:

PIGS’ FEET
Pigs’ feet should be well cleaned by dipping them in scalding water and scraping off the hairs. Leave them in weak salt and water two days, changing it each day. If you wish to boil them, they are now ready, but if the weather is cold, they will keep in this a month. They should be kept in a cold place and if they are frozen, there is no danger of their spoiling. But if there comes on a thaw, change the salt and water, and soak them in fresh water all night before you boil them. In this way, they are good to eat with pepper and vinegar while hot, or may be dipped in batter and fried after they are cold.

BOILED PIGS’ FEET
Take two dozen pigs’ feet, a good deal of water, and a tablespoonful of salt. Put the feet into a large pot, and cover with lukewarm water, adding the salt. Simmer slowly until thoroughly done, which will take four or five hours. The bones must be loose, but the feet must not be allowed to remain in the water until they are ready to fall out.

FRIED PIGS’ FEET
Have the butcher crack the feet.  Have your feet well cleaned and let them lie overnight in salt and water. Wash and put into a pot of boiling water to cook. Cook gently until they separate easily from the joints. Lift from the water, and set to cool. When cold, divide into portions, dip in egg and cracker-dust, and fry in boiling hot lard. Serve with coleslaw or chow-chow.

STEWED PIGS’ FEET
Take the quantity of feet you wish to serve and put them into a sauce pan with a little hot water. Cover, and steam until perfectly soft, and put in enough fresh cream to cover. Let it boil up once, rub a small quantity of butter and flour together, and add to the feet.  Boil up once more, season with salt and pepper, and put in a little sweet marjory [marjoram] to the taste.

BROILED PIGS’ FEET
Boil four well cleaned pickled pigs’ feet in stock or boiling water with sweet herbs, until they are tender enough to permit the bones to come out readily. Split them in halves, take out all the large bones, trim and shape them neatly, and cool them. When cold, season with pepper and salt, dip them first in melted butter and then in cracker dust. Broil them over a clear, moderate fire, turning them frequently. Serve with a little melted butter, lemon juice, and chopped parsley over them.

pickled pigs feet

pickled pigs feet

SOUSED PIGS’ FEET 
Having cleaned them properly and removed the skin, boil them slowly till they are quite tender. Then split the feet and put them into salt and vinegar, flavored with a little mace. Cover the jar close and set it away. When you use them, dry each piece well with a cloth. Dip them first in beaten yolk of egg, and then in bread crumbs, and fry them nicely in butter or lard. Or you may eat them cold, just out of the vinegar. If you intend keeping them some time, you must make a fresh pickle for them every other day.

fresh pigs’ feet photo credit

pickled pigs’ feet photo credit

Have You Ever Eaten Pigs’ Feet?

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4 Comments

  1. We used to call them ‘pig’s trotters’ and we had them occasionally when I was a child. I remember they didn’t taste particularly of anything and they were always a big sticky and gooey – or maybe that was just the way my mother cooked them!

    • I guess when we’re kids, we eat what our mothers cook. Mine didn’t cook pigs’ feet, but she did cook beef liver – Yuk! Fortunately, she didn’t cook it often.

  2. Yes, I ate one pickled pigs foot, one time, and only once, when someone in the family told me I wouldn’t. So of course, I had to show that I would. I never ate them again, but it actually didn’t taste too bad, probably because of the vinegar and salt. Never felt the need to try them again! LOL!

    • You’re brave. I’d probably eat one, too, if someone had a jar, but I wouldn’t buy them myself. Fortunately, I don’t know anyone who eats them.

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