Huge pot o' pork
We wanted another meat dish for our New Year's Eve party to complement the lengua estofada, but we wanted something that was relatively hassle-free to prepare.
And we wanted a dish with pig's feet.
browned pig's foot
For some reason, we've decided to go offal-intensive with our Spanish-inspired menu, probably because we've been consulting the Culinaria Spain book and they do have a lot of offal dishes in there.
I wasn't sure how our offal dishes were going to be received by our guests.
It was a gamble with something so undisguisable as pig's feet -- but I figure the cocido (stew) we envisioned would have other meats beside the feet to make it more palatable to our other guests.
Here's our version of cocido:
A hearty stew with pork shoulder & shank, pig's feet, smoked ham hock, chorizo, morcilla sausage, cabbage and garbanzo beans. Served with a "gremolata" of parsley, capers, garlic, and orange & lemon zests.
Veal & Turkey Stocks
The day before cooking, I roasted off a turkey carcass and some veal bones, then made stock.
Our turkey stock and veal stock were ready for next day's action.
Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), Soaking
Also on the same day, I started to soak some dried chickpeas in some water.
Day of Cooking
pots simmering away
To make the cocido, I first fried off some pieces of bacon.
blurry bacon browning
I then used some of the fat rendered from the bacon to brown off my pork shoulder and shank pieces...
pork shoulder & shank
...and pig's feet.
pig's feet pieces
I must say, while I was browning off the pigs feet, I was hit with such an intoxicating fragrance that I wanted to gobble them up then and there!
I had dusted some salt and smoked paprika on the pigs feet, and when they hit the oil...
I managed to hold it together to continue on making the dish. I set the browned pork shoulder and pig's feet pieces aside, putting them into a pot for now.
huge pot with browned pork pieces
After browning, the onions went into the pot with the good bits of crusted-on pig at the bottom. Garlic went in next.
I deglazed with a cup of white wine, and then added some turkey and/or veal stock. The browned off pig pieces went back into the pot.
Or, more accurately, we poured the deglazed onions and liquid into the big pot o' pork.
Smoked Ham Hock
smoked ham hock
We also threw in a smoked ham hock into our cocido, by the way, for smoky porky goodness.
BACON + PORK SHOULDER + PIG'S FEET + SMOKED HAM HOCK.
Can it get any porkier?
Two big pots o' pork.
At first I thought we could get by with cooking the big pot o' pork as is -- ambitious, I know -- but a little boil-over told me that we had to separate the lot into two pots.
Chorizo and Morcilla Sausages
While the two big pots o' pork were simmering away, we prepared the other ingredients for the cocido. We fried up some chorizo...
left: chorizo; right: morcilla
...and some morcilla (blood) sausages.
We had to look for these sausages as they were a little hard to find. We finally found some at Universal Bakery, a Portuguese establishment, where we also bought a Pudim Flan.
We sliced up the morcilla as well and pan-fried them, but they were very soft. Do people usually just eat them whole?
BACON + PORK SHOULDER + PIG'S FEET + SMOKED HAM HOCK + CHORIZO SAUSAGE.
Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) and Cabbage
We stole some of the braising/stewing liquid from the cocido and cooked the chickpeas in there.
We did the same for the cabbage, cooking them in the braising/stewing liquid as well. We layered the cabbage and chickpeas in our serving trays. (Yes, plural!)
As our cocido was quite rich and hearty, we decided to add a high, bright note to the dish with a "gremolata".
We mixed together parsley, capers, garlic, and orange & lemon zests and served that with the cocido.
Our Spanish New Year's Eve Buffet
For each serving tray, we layered the cabbage and chickpeas, then grouped together the pork shoulder & shank pieces, then the pig's feet.
We also placed the pan-fried chorizo and morcilla sausages in individual piles. We poured the broth over, then sprinkled everything with the gremolata.
Unfortunately, it was too dark to take photographs of the dish when it was finished. We cooked this the night before.
On the day of the party, I was too busy to take a picture of the trays during the daytime. By the time the party started, it was once again too dark for decent photographs!
So, if one looks at the photo, our cocido is the dish at the bottom left corner.
Here's that photo above, with labels.
I need not have worried about the pig's feet -- the pig's feet were the first to go!
In fact, we could have done it with all pig's feet and no pork shoulder, as the pig's feet were really spectacular in this dish.
I don't eat and cook pig's feet at all but I did try this dish and I was blown away by the pig's feet. They really are great!
There's meat, there's the gelatinous skin, there's good sucking on the little bony cartilage bits: eating pig's feet is quite similar to eating chicken feet.
The broth was rich and quite heavenly. It was great slurping it down with tender pieces of cabbage, which lent their sweetness to the whole dish while at the same time were flavored with all the porky goodness. The chickpeas were also very flavorful, having bathed in that porky goodness.
The cocido was fantastic!
See the rest of our Spanish-themed New Year's Eve Menu here.
Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish "Omelette")
Roast Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Sardinas na Bangus (Milkfish in the style of Sardines)
Red Wine-braised Squid with Potatoes and Chorizo
Philippine Beef Salpicao (and a Spanish variation)
Stewed Tripe, Spanish-style
Lengua Estofada (Beef Tongue Braised in Red Wine and Veal Stock)
Bacalao con Patatas (Baked Salt Cod and Potatoes)
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Grilled Calçots (Green Onions) with Salsa Romesco
Empanada de Pavo
(Galician-style Meat Pie with Turkey Filling), plus Turkey Cracklings!
Fideuá (Spanish Seafood Noodle "Paella")... and Paella
Cocido (Spanish Stew with Various Pork Cuts)
Slow-Roast Pork Shoulder, Two Ways
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Cocido (Spanish Stew with Various Pork Cuts)
(scaled down version)
4 pieces bacon, sliced
2 lbs pig's feet
2 lbs pork shoulder/shank, cut into cubes
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Spanish smoked paprika (sweet and/or hot)
1 cup white wine
stock (chicken, beef, turkey, pork)
1 smoked ham hock, approximately 1.5 pounds
2 chorizo sausages
2 morcilla sausages
1 head of cabbage, sliced
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas
orange and/or lemon zest
If making the gremolata, chop parsley, cilantro, capers, and garlic. Mix with orange and/or lemon zest. Set aside until ready to use.
In a pot, sauté bacon pieces until browned. Remove from pot and set aside.
Season pork shoulder and/or shank pieces, and the pig's feet, with salt and paprika.
In the same pot, brown pork shoulder and/or shank cubes. You may need to add more oil as necessary and brown in batches. Set aside.
In the same pot, brown the pig's feet. You may need to add more oil as necessary and brown in batches. Set aside.
In the same pot, cook onions and garlic until soft. Season with salt and smoked paprika, and add your desired amount of black peppercorns. Pour in white wine to deglaze the pot: scrape off softened browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
Add the browned pork shoulder/shank cubes and browned pig's feet back into the pot. Cover with stock (or until stock is almost covering all the pork). Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer. Cooking time will take approximately 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours.
While the pot is simmering, slice chorizo sausages. Pan-fry slices in olive oil. Morcilla sausages can be kept whole. Pan-fry the morcilla in olive oil as well.
About 30 minutes before the end of cooking, add the cooked chickpeas and sliced cabbage into the simmering pot. Stir in and cook until cabbage is desired tenderness.
Alternatively, one can cook the cabbage in a separate pot with some of the braising liquid, until desired tenderness.
The stew is done when the pork shoulder/shank pieces and the pig's feet are tender.
To serve, place stew in serving vessel and add the chorizo slices and pan-fried morcilla sausages, as well as the fried bacon. Serve with the "gremolata", if desired.