Sometimes feedback is a strange thing.
I was pretty sure that this was going to be one of those recipes that people take a look at, shrug and quickly forget. While cocido de paticas (Pig trotters stew) is a popular dish in the Dominican Republic (although not a common one, it takes time to prepare it, so it’s only served on special occasions), the fact is that I thought it would completely tank abroad.
Surprisingly I got emails and Twitter messages asking why there wasn’t an English version out yet. The reason for this is that we first added it to our collection last week, and as I rarely post the same thing on both blogs simultaneously, this was supposed to be posted a few weeks from now.
But we are here to please our readers.
Of course Dominicans did not invent pig trotters stew. It is in fact well-known in several other cultures in different forms, but our own version has a nice combination of flavors that might impress even those not so keen on eating such an unusual part of the animal. Each Dominican cook has her own little secret, so this may not be your mama’s stew, but I am sure it is pretty close.
I say give it a try, you might surprise yourself.
- 2.5 lbs (1 kg) pig trotters cut into small pieces
- 4 potatoes, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- Leaves from the celery stalk
- 2 tomatoes, cut into eighths
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon of dry leaves
- ½ Scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 lime
- Add lime juice to the trotters.
- Heat up oil over medium heat in a heavy pan.
- Brown trotters in the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Put the meat into a deep pot, reserve the pan.
- Add 6 cups of water to the pot.
- Add celery leaves, thyme and oregano.
- Add a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.
- Boil until the trotters are very tender and the meat falls off the bones.
- If you are not using a pressure cooker, then add water when necessary to keep the trotters covered.
- When the trotters are done remove from the pot, reserve the liquid in which it boiled.
- Let everything cool down.
- Return the pot to the the stove and heat over low heat.
- Add garlic and onions and cook until the onions become transparent.
- Add the celery stalk, then tomatoes and bell pepper.
- Add chickpeas, mix well.
- Add the trotters.
- Add tomato sauce and mix well.
- Skim the fat off the liquid in which the trotters boiled.
- Add the liquid to the pot.
- Add Scotch bonnet.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with white rice and avocado slices.
You can make the same dish using beef or goat trotters.
You can use tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, just dilute it in a cup of water before adding to the pot.