Wednesday, May 1, 2013

252&253/984 - Caribbean pig's trotters stew & simple brine for pork cuts

I have been wanting to try this recipe for some time now. There was something about the addition of wiggly piggy tails that captured my attention! Clearly I was not alone, with the boys begging to have tails put on their plates. The tails were supposed to be cut into sections but how could I deny my boys the opportunity to have one elaborately draped over their meal?

These piggy bits were purchased directly from the farmer rather than the butcher and so they were fresh rather than pickled. Luckily Stephanie has a recipe for pork brine which, while not really the same thing as having meat pickled, was a good enough do-it-yourself alternative for me. Quite frankly the hardest part of making this recipe was the planning. The trotters and tails needed to soak for two days in the brine and then once that was done, the stew was pretty much an all day affair. In the end I decided to brine on Wednesday, and make the stew on the weekend. Given the l-o-o-o-n-g cooking time I think this was a good decision!

I used four trotters rather than six, but since two still had the hocks attached I felt comfortable it would be enough. I was also one tail short but two wiggly tails to play with were quite enough for me. I will admit to jumping in alarm when one of the tails started to defrost and flopped across my hand. I was contemplating working with a pigs head in the future but now I am not so sure I have the stomach for it. 
I was missing a few ingredients for the recipe and so substituted the fresh tomatoes and chick peas for tinned and the lard for olive oil. Other than that I followed the recipe quite closely, loving the amazing chorizo/tomato/chilli  fry up that was later added to the stew.

The last step was to add the potatoes and the salt and I must confess I completely forgot about the salt. It really didn't need it though, the stew was full of flavour and the family were all BIG fans. 

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