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How to Pressure Cook Pig Feet

In culinary terms, pig feet are the feet and ankles of a hog. Pig feet are rich in gelatin, collagen, protein, minerals and vitamins. Although used worldwide, in America they are most commonly used in soul food and Southern cooking. Because they contain bone, sinews and cartilage, they must be cooked vigorously. Traditionally, they were boiled for three to four hours. A pressure cooker will cook pig feet in thirty-five minutes. Since the pressure cooker uses steam cooking, the meat retains its flavour and nutrients. Once cooked, pig feet are most often pickled or used in soups and stews.

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Thoroughly wash the pig feet in water. Remove any bristles between the toes with a sharp knife or razor. Dry with paper towel.

Place the pig feet on cutting board and cut each one in half lengthwise with a butcher's knife.

Place the pig feet in pressure cooker. Add just enough water or stock to almost cover the pig feet. Add salt and any vegetables and spices with which you might want to flavour the pork.

Lock the lid in place, and bring the cooker up to high pressure, according to the instructions for your brand and model of cooker. Cook for 35 minutes.

When cooked, remove the pig feet from the cooker with a slotted spoon, since the meat will be falling off the bone.

Tip

For pork stew, slice meat and add preferred vegetables and spices. For pickled pig feet, debone and cure the cooked pig feet overnight in vinegar with sliced onions, fresh jalapeño peppers and a dash of salt.

Warning

Do not fill pressure cooker over 2/3 full. There is usually a clearly marked "2/3 fill line" inside the cooker. Allow the pressure cooker to completely depressurise before removing the lid. Hob and electric pressure cookers have different methods of operation. Be sure to follow the instructions for your cooker.

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Things You'll Need

  • 4- or 6-quart pressure cooker
  • Cutting board
  • Butcher's knife
  • Fresh pig feet
  • Water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Onions and celery (optional)

About the Author

Brian Burhoe has been writing professionally since 1971. His stories have appeared in "World of If Magazine," "Fantastic Stories" and "Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year." He cooks in Atlantic Coast restaurants and he is a graduate of the Holland College Culinary Course and holds a Canadian Culinary Federation chef's certificate.

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