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.
I was pretty sure that this was going to be one of those recipes that people take a look at, shrug and quickly forget.
Sometimes feedback is a strange thing.
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.
So here’s the much-requested Cocido de Paticas Recipe (Pig Trotters Stew).
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] of pig trotters cut into small pieces
- Juice from a lime.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetal oil (peanut, soy or corn)
- 1 qt [1 lt] of water , divided (may need more)
- Leaves from a celery stalk
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano , or 1 teaspoon of dry leaves
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoons of pepper (or more, to taste)
- 4 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1 large red onion , chopped
- 1 celery stalk , diced
- 2 large tomatoes , chopped
- 1 bell pepper , diced
- 1 cup of boiled chickpeas
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 4 floury potatoes , diced
- 2 carrots , diced
- 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
Season the meat with lime juice.
Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy pan. Add trotters to the pan and brown. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the meat into a dutch oven pot (3 qt [3 lt] capacity). 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. In a conventional pot it may take up to 40 mins, about 15 in a pressure cooker. If you are not using a pressure cooker, then add water when necessary to keep the meat covered.
When the meat is cooked through remove from the pot, reserve the liquid in which it boiled. Let everything cool to room temperature.
Return the pot to the the stove and heat over low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until the onions become translucent. Stir in celery stalk, then tomatoes and bell pepper. Add chickpeas, mix well, then the meat. Stir in tomato sauce and simmer for a minute.
Skim the fat off the liquid in which the trotters boiled. Add the liquid to the pot (6 cups). Add potato, carrot and Scotch bonnet pepper. Simmer covered over low heat until the potatoes and carrots are cooked-through.
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.