Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Manitas de Cerdo en Salsa (Pigs Feet In Sauce)

Pigs feet are simmered until tender, creating a rich stock used to make a rich smooth sauce that's slightly sweet from cooking down sweet yellow onions, garlic, leek, sweet carrots and tomato, and also has hints of spicy from the black pepper and for those that can handle more heat some dried chili peppers can be added to kick it up.

Served hot smothered in sauce, it's simply comfort food with rice or bread :)

I learned this recipe from "El Cocinero Andaluz" (The Andalusian Cook) he has a video blog dedicated to his home cooking and has an array of Andalusian recipes at his blog:


For those that don't know Andalusia is in Southern Spain and is well known for their fried foods, especially fish and using a variety of herbs and spices (due to Moorish influence). His blog is a treasure chest for anyone interested in this Cuisine, however it is in Spanish and so are the videos, but the videos are usually silent and if your familiar with the kitchen you can just watch what he is using and how he does things for those who don't know Spanish and are still interested.

I did however adjust his recipe a bit, first by blanching the pigs feet first which is something I always do out of habit, second I added garlic to the aromatics and dried chili peppers as he suggested since he said it was "missing something" and made the sauce more smooth and abundant (because in my house we love having lots of sauce to soak up with rice)

Ingredients for the stock:

-4 lbs. pigs feet
-water (enough to completely cover pigs feet)
-2 bay leaves
-1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
-2 whole cloves
-salt to taste

Sauce Ingredients:
-1/4- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 leek (discard green leaves, and the bottom tip area use only the body, cut in half and rinse well then slice thin)
-1 large onion julienned
-2 carrots peeled cut into thin rounds
-3 cloves garlic minced
-2-3 small dried red chile peppers (cayenne, guindillas, or chile japones or chile de arbol this is optional only if you want a spicy kick to it)
-2 large fresh ripe tomatoes quartered
-1/2- 1 cup tomato sauce
-pork feet stock (reserved)
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste
-finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro to garnish

Directions for pig feet/ stock:
(1) First we start by cleaning the pigs feet by blanching, wash them well, drain, bring water to a boil in a pot enough to cover the pigs feet and boil them 10 minutes,
all the scum will rise, skim it off, after 10 minutes,
drain the water out and wash the pigs feet again.
Now they are ready to use, this step is always done in my house when we cook pigs feet, it get's rid of any impurities or bad taste from the meat.

(2) Now bring a pot with enough water to cover pigs feet to a boil again, add the cleaned pigs feet, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and salt to taste when it boils strong, cover and lower heat to medium low simmer about 2 1/2 hours until very tender.
(3) When pork feet are tender, remove from pot, and you will have a rich flavorful stock, strain the stock to remove bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and set aside. You will use this stock to make your sauce. Don't be alarmed if you get a white stock it doesn't mean it's dirty, what it means is that the meat has released a lot of it's minerals, and gelatine which is a good thing makes the stock very rich.

Directions for sauce and finishing dish:
(1) In a deep-pot heat olive oil on medium high heat, when hot add garlic, onions, leeks, and carrot until translucent about 5-7 minutes,
add chopped tomato and when tomato is tender stir in tomato sauce let this cook down 3-5 minutes.
(2) Add some of the stock enough to cover all the veggies, and let boil about 5 minutes, turn heat to low,
and use a hand blender to blend the sauce until smooth,
or remove the sauce in batches and blend in a blender (be careful hot liquids burst and jump in blenders or food processors, I use a hand blender for this dish)

(3) When sauce is smooth, add pigs feet, and enough stock to barely cover the feet, bring to a boil, add ground black pepper to taste and more salt if necessary, cover and allow to simmer 25- 30 minutes.
(4) Turn off give a gentle stir, and garnish with parsley or cilantro.
(5) Serve in a deep bowl with lots of sauce, some bread and a salad....
or like I did today for leftovers I had it Cuban style ha ha, with some white rice, sliced avocado, and fried plantains.
If you don't like pigs feet then you simply don't like them end of story I'm not here to convince you ha ha, but for those that do, give this recipe a try, you'll be pleasantly surprised :D don't forget pigs feet are messy to eat hehe., Don't be afraid to grab with your hands and chomp down on these morsels.

If interested in other recipes using pigs feet check out my Tata's / Grandmas Spanish "Potaje de Garbanzos Con Pata de Puerco" (Chickpea and Pigs feet stew) you can also use them in her "Potaje de Pata y Panza" in place of the beef foot called for, or my mother's Mexican "Patas de Puerco Cocidas" (boiled pork feet) served with lime, salt, and hot sauce. Another dish the pork feet are feautured in is in my mother's "Pozole Rojo" (Hominy and Pork Stew) and the pork feet can also be used in my grandma's "Potaje de Pata y Panza"


Unknown said...

Good job Nathan.
Buena idea lo de ponerle un poco de picante.
Saludos desde España

YayaOrchid said...

Muchacho! What a delicious recipe you have there! I would have stopped before the sauce and chopped up the meat for little tacos- with those yummy pork skin morsels- ay, ay,ay! Plenty of pico de gallo, and cilantro please!

The sauce is very elegant, very much reminds me of French cuisine- they're big on organ meats. Well, pig feet aren't organ but 'different' nontheless.

Nathan said...

Victor J. Muñoz,
Thanks :)

LOL. my family loves to boil them in real salty water with bay leaves, onion, garlic for hours til tender then we drain it and pile it high on a plate with some tapatio, lime n extra salt if needed mmmm we just eat only that a big plate and we just munch munch munch. Haha next time, I'm gonna make them "Lambriadas" (boiled til tender and battered and deep-fried, the same batter for "Chiles Rellenos" is used for that recipe so good! served with some sour cream and hot sauce HEAVEN!!!

lisalisa said...

hi just got done looking over your recipe, and it sounds so delicious!! imma try it! i love pig feet!! hahaha! lisalisa

Unknown said...

hi!! i just got done looking over your recipe..and it sounds so delicous!! as a matter of fact my man just went to the store to buy the ingredients lol! we's gona make it!! thanks {lisalisa}

Unknown said...

I am from Tampa (Cuban/Spanish)and I love that you are keeping your culture alive by the foods you cook and serve. I remember my Abuela making Pigs feet with Garbanzo bean soup . Yum Yum I'm gonna try your recipe. Keep up the great work.