Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pigs Feet (Manitas o patitas de cerdo)

This is another traditional Spanish dish and in every region it is made in a different way. I made the pigs feet "Catalan style." I call this dish Catalan style because it is done with the famous "picada," which is a mix of a couple of slices of fried bread, garlic, almonds, pine nuts, a couple tablespoons of chicken broth and salt to help mash all the ingredients in a mortar.

During times when food was not abundant, when there were not large stores or supermarkets, and  before the industrial revolution that created work in factories, many people were farmers and they had to use everything or most parts of the animals they slaughtered in order to survive the winter months. This dish is one such example.


2 lbs. pigs feet
2 red onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 ripe grated tomatoes 
2 large carrots sliced thin
1 dried cayenne pepper

1/2 glass white wine
3 cups chicken stock (low in sodium)
12 toasted marcona almonds
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 slices fried bread
5 garlic cloves
a pinch of saffron
salt and pepper
2 potatoes cut in cubes

In a deep 2 quart pan put the pig's feet to boil. After an hour remove them from the pan and discard the boiling water. Add clean water to the pan and then the pigs feet and boil them on  medium heat for three hours or until tender.

While the pigs feet are cooking, start the sofrito in a pan by cooking the onions, cayenne pepper and carrots in olive oil until the onions turn translucent. Then add the tomato and cook until the sauce starts thickening and the carrots are tender. Remove from the pan, put in a blender and puré. 

Put the pig's feet in the same pan that you used to cook the sofrito. Pour the puré over the pig's feet, add the wine, and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and let it reduce. 

While it is cooking, make the picada. The original picada was done in a mortar but I use a blender to puré the marcona almonds, pine nuts, fried bread, garlic, a pinch of saffron, about 1/2 cup chicken stock, salt and pepper. Pour the picada over the pig's feet and let it cook on low heat for about 30 minutes until the sauce starts thickening. Fry the potatoes and add to the pig's feet. They are just delicious!

No comments:

Post a Comment