Pig feet seem to have a bad reputation here in the states.  Normally when we think of pork, we’re thinking ribs, pork chops, or bacon.  However, pig foot souse is a very popular dish across the caribbean.  My first experience with pig foot souse was in Turks and Caicos, when I was invited to a friend’s mother’s house for breakfast.  At first glance, it doesn’t look super appetizing, but it smells and tastes delicious!  I’ve been on the hunt for it when I go to the caribbean ever since, but apparently this dish is only served in the mornings for breakfast.  I can’t get up that early on vacation!

Since I’ve had such a hard time getting my hands on some pig foot souse when I’m on vacation, I finally decided to just try to make some myself.  The few times I had it, it was cooked by someone’s mom or auntie, so I knew I had big shoes to fill, but I decided to try it anyway!  I decided to base this attempt on the pork souse recipe from CaribbeanPot.com.  I’ve been trying his recipes for a while, and they all turn out good!

Here’s what I used:

1.5lb pork hocks
2lbs pig feet
1 red onion, sliced thin
juice of 4 limes
2 hot peppers, sliced thin (use habanero or scotch bonnet for best results)
dash fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt (but do taste after marinating to adjust to your liking)
5-6 cloves of garlic crushed
4 cups water
1 cucumber, sliced thin
3 stalks of celery, sliced thin (i like celery and had some to use before it went bad, don’t judge)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (traditionally shado beni is used, but I didn’t have any)

 

Here’s What I Did:

First, I smashed 2 cloves of garlic, and put it and all the pork (after washing, of course) into a big pot, with enough water to cover everything.  I brought it to a boil, then reduced to a simmer.  I covered the pot and simmered for about 2.5 hours.

Once the pork was tender, I poured the contents of the pot into a strainer, and rinsed the meat well with cool water.  While waiting for the meat to cool, I prepped the rest of the ingredients.  I cut the onion, peppers, 3 more cloves of garlic, cucumber and cilantro, and mixed into a large bowl.  By the time I had finished chopping everything up, the meat was cool enough to work with.  I used 2 forks to pull all the meat from the bones.  Then I mixed the meat, salt, pepper, lime juice, water, and the cucumber mixture into a large bowl.  After mixing all the ingredients, I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate for about 2 hours.

The verdict:

pig foot souseI thought it was ok; definitely tasty but obviously not as good as what I had in the islands!  My husband thought it was really good though, and even took some for lunch the next day!  That made me feel a little better.  Maybe i’ll try it again.  Or maybe I’ll just wait until next time I go to the caribbean and make sure I get up early enough for breakfast.

What about you guys?  Any dishes that you had in another country and just loved?  Did you try to recreate it yourself?  Let me know in the comments!