The Dominican Cocido de Paticas (Cow or Pig Trotters Stew) may seem a bit intimidating at first, but don't worry, it's a fairly simple recipe, and that we write with a lot of details. It will be a success at the table.
While Cocido de Patas (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 or specialty restaurants-- I thought it would completely tank abroad.
I was pretty sure that this pig feet stew recipe was going to be one of those recipes that people take a look at, shrug and quickly forget. I admit was wrong.
So off I go to
the council of elders call my mother and confirm the family recipe for hog trotters Dominican-style I grew up with (which will not be identical to own family's) and I went into battle with a dish that seems complicated to start with but really isn't.
What is Cocido de Patas (Beef or Pig Trotters Stew)?
This is one of the traditional stews of our country, and it is prepared with beef trotters, pork trotters or goat trotters. Each cook has his own combination, from simpler stews to the more complicated ones that contain more vegetables and ingredients. Ours is of medium complexity.
There is a combination in which pig foot or cow trotters is mixed with mondongo (tripes) and cooked together, and is known as "patimondongo".
This is not a soup that is commonly prepared at home, and I remember that Mommy did it very rarely, it is more common to eat it in specialized restaurants. In fact, by consulting the very old Dominican cookbooks that I own, I see that only one includes this recipe.
About this pig trotters --or cow trotters-- recipe
As is almost always the case, this is my familiar version of this Dominican stew, with the odd trick I learned along the way. Not everyone adds chickpeas, but when I tried it with chickpeas I loved it. The potato is also one of those elements that appear in some versions and not in others.
The recipe mentioned above ("Patitas de Cerdo Guisadas en Salsa de Tomate" from the book La Cocina Dominicana by María Ramírez de Carías) is seasoned with some different ingredients, it contains capers, malagueta (allspice), and "English" sauce (Worcestershire). Veritably, I say unto thee: "Cada cocinero tiene su librito"
In our recipe, we recommend using a pressure cooker, but we also tell you how to cook pig trotters (or beef trotters) if you make it in a normal pot.
If you have your own secret to cooking pork trotters, tell us in the comments.
Cocido de Paticas - Recipe & Video (Pig Trotters Stew)
- 2.5 lbs [1 kg] of pork 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)
How to season pig trotters
- 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.
How to cook pig trotters (also cow trotters and goat feet)
- 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 1-2 hours or about 30 minutes 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 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 them 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.