This carnivore-ish pig trotters recipe has been created for you to share with your non-carnivore family members and friends. It uses just a few herbs but is deliciously full of aromatic herbal flavors and you can discard those herbs once cooking is done.
If you have been on the carnivore diet for a long time, you probably can live on just steak day in and day out and never get bored with it.
However, if you have family members or friends who are not on the carnivore diet, a bit of seasoning is usually needed to create dishes that everyone, carnivore or not, can share and this carnivore-ish braised pig trotter is one of them.
Pig trotters may look intimidating if you have never cooked them before but this is a super easy fool-proof recipe that will guarantee a tender, gelatinous, hearty, and flavorful pork dish that you will want to cook again and again.
Pig trotters may look like they are very high in fat but they are actually relatively low in fat compared to other pork cuts like pork belly.
Pig trotters are especially high in collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. Consuming collagen-rich food can be beneficial for skin, bone, and joint health and help with muscle synthesis. [3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
As you get older, your body’s ability to produce collagen declines and it becomes more important to regularly eat collagen-rich food like pig trotters, chicken feet, or bone broth.
- 4 pigs trotters
- 30 grams herbal mix (see note below)
- 2 stalks of spring onion
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
You can easily find a herbal mix in Asian grocery stores. Look for ones labeled “herbal mix for stewing” which usually contain ginseng, cnidium, jujube, goji berries, and milk vetch root.
If you can’t find a pre-packed herbal mix, use the following:
- 3 medium slices of ginseng
- 3 small cnidium sticks
- 3 milk vetch root sticks (also known as astragalus, locoweed, and goat’s-thorn)
- 8 jujube (red dates).
If you still can’t find these, 30 grams of shiitake mushrooms and a small knob of fresh ginger will do just as well. These can easily be found in any supermarket.
The aim is to use them to enhance the flavor of the dish and discard them after cooking. Non-carnivore members of the family, of course, can eat those herbs if they wish.
If you don’t want to eat any of the herbal mix, use a herb bag to store it and you can just lift it out once the cooking is done.
Ask the butcher to cut each trotter into three pieces (if you happen to forget like I did, a meat cleaver and a hammer can do the job too!).
Remove any remaining hair on the pig trotters with a blow torch and wash them afterward.
Please get pasture-raised pig trotters if you can. Because not many people are into eating odd bits like these, you can get pasture-raised trotters very cheaply.
Dry the trotter pieces. Add salt and vinegar. Mix well. Cover with clip wrap and let marinate overnight.
I began using apple cider vinegar to marinate pork after I was shown a Weston Price study which finds that consuming un-marinated pork can cause coagulated blood in some people.
The authors of the study speculate that raw pork might contain an unidentified toxin that heat doesn’t destroy but a combination of heat and fermentation with salt and acid does.
Heat a thick-base frying pan on high heat.
Add three pieces of pig trotters to the pan. Brown them till golden outside.
Repeat with the remaining trotter pieces.
It’s important to avoid crowding the pan with too much meat because it will lower the heat and make it impossible to brown the meat. The meat will start cooking in its own juice instead.
Browning the trotters help bring out the flavor of the meat and give the dish the caramel color at the end.
Braised pig trotter recipes often call for plenty of soy sauce to help enhance the dish’s flavor and give it a brown color. However, browning can achieve similar effects without using soy sauce which often contains soy, wheat, sugar, and preservatives.
Transfer the trotter pieces to a pot. Add the herbal mix. Add water enough to cover the meat. You can also use a light bone broth (fat skimmed off) instead of water if you like.
Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 3 to 4 hours or until fork tender.
Note that the cooking time may vary due to the age of the animal, the size of the trotter pieces, and whether it’s pasture-raised or conventionally-raised. Older animals, larger sizes, and pasture-raised trotters will need more cooking time.
Once the trotter pieces have become very tender, add the honey and increase the heat to reduce the sauce by about one-third.
If you have a pressure cooker in the house, you can cook it on high for about 30 minutes. After that, turn off the pressure cooker and let the pressure release naturally for about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Cut the spring onions into 2-inch pieces and sprinkle on top.
You can either remove the herbs before serving or leave them in the bowl for decoration.
This is a sticky melt-in-your-mouth tender and flavorsome dish that everyone in the family can enjoy, carnivore or not.
It goes well with lean steak, organ meat, or drier dishes like meatloaf.
Remember to eat the bone marrow too, it is also full of nutrients and offers many health benefits.
Save the bones by keeping them in a bag in the freezer for making bone broth later on. There is still plenty of collagen left on the bones even after a few hours of cooking.
Other recipes that you may be interested in:
Disclaimer: The information in this post is for reference purposes only and not intended to constitute or replace professional medical advice. Please consult a qualified medical professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.