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Pickled Pig Feet #1
Worldwide   (except Israel and Muslim regions)

5-1/2 #  
2+ days  

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-4 and our other recipe Pickled Pig Feet #2.



Pig's Feet (1)
Vinegar (2)
-- Spices
Chilis dry (3)
Bay Leaf
Coriander seed
Mustard seed
Ginger sliced

  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. Put them into a large pot and cover with water by about 2 inches or more as they'll swell a bit. An 8-quart pot is sufficient for 6 pounds. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat for a few minutes, then dump it all out in the sink and rinse the crud off the feet.
  3. Clean the pot and put the Pig Feet back in with water to cover. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer covered until tender but not overdone. That should be about 1-3/4 hours (some recipes call for cooking far too long). Sample to see when you have the desired consistency it should be possible to pull out the large bones, but not too easily. A little more cooking is good for edibility but bad for appearance.
  4. Drain the Pig Feet. Rinse any scum off them and remove any bones that are loose and not serving any purpose.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  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. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Method:   This uncured method is quick, simple and flavorful. Disadvantages are that the color is darker and gelatin tends to migrate into the pickle liquid, diluting it and making the feet difficult to remove from the jar after a while. Figure on eating them fairly soon. Our alternate recipe, Pickled Pig Feet #2 cures overnight with salt and a little potassium nitrate (saltpeter) making them more like the commercial product, but still with good flavor.
  5. 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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