Tale of some pigs’ tails
Did you catch those homophones in that title there? People pay me for that kind of grammatical genius these days.
So I’m not talking pigtails.
I’m talking pigtails.
Yes, in the odd-meaty-bits-for-cheap-prices-that-few-people-actually-eat freezer bin (my fav) at our discount grocery store the other day, I couldn’t pass up a little porker tail.
(As an aside, let me just say that I happen to have mentioned my blog to three, count ’em, three vegetarians in as many weeks. And may I just begin by apologizing if the any of the well-intentioned veggie-philes should happen to be popping by today.)
Anyway, here is the tail that I chased.
As usual, I Googled to try to figure out what to do with them, and the “bottom” line is this:
1. Mennonites like to eat them for some reason. Funny how those super-religious people seem to go whole hog on pork. Now that I think about it, Christians in general don’t seem to have an issue with it. I guess Jesus must have given it the OK.
2. Pig tails seem to follow the same cooking rules as ribs.
I felt like my pig tails wanted to be roasted in a sweet kind of a glaze, and I also thought that if I chose a chicken wing-type sauce, even if no one else is dumb enough to buy pig tails at least I could try out the glaze and let you know if it might be Super-Bowl-chicken-wing-worthy. Most recipes also required boiling for hours and hours first, so I did that too. Especially because that meant I got to use my NEW POT.
My husband got me this pot for Christmas. I’ve wanted one of these pots for a long time. Even though it makes me feel ridiculous to have spent a mint (on sale, but still a mint) on a stupid kitchen pot (you may have been wondering whether they paid me for this opinion, and now you just figured out that no, no one would really pay me for my kind of honesty. But I would happily accept another pot from Staub, in case anyone from there should happen to be reading this, because they’re frickin expensive but also highly useful, and now that I blew the wad on a big one, I kind of also want a smaller one) I am the kind of person who will use it, again and again. I will pass this pot along to whichever kid I should decide that I love best, that is, if I should decide not to be buried with it. Or in it.
I love this pot.
And just as another aside, you MUST make this recipe for Coq au Vin that is too traditional to be showcased on CookingDangerously, but that may be one of the best meals I’ve ever made. I’m not sure it would turn out as well if you didn’t have a hot red ferrari pot like mine (who’s kidding who, one of those black tin speckled roasting pans would likely do the job, but make me feel good and say that it wouldn’t). But try it. It’s one of those recipes where you’re left wondering whether it smells or tastes better, but the fact that you’re wondering means the whole experience was pretty damn good.
And now, back to the porker waggers. I didn’t find one recipe that I loved above all others, so I played around. Do me a favour and read it, even though if even one person makes pig tails because of this blog post I’d squeal like a piglet in surprise. Sometimes with my really weird experiments I think I should hand out door prizes to make people stay to the end.
Sweet Chili Porky Pig Tails
- 3 or 4 pigs’ tails
- 900mL chicken stock
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- handful of thyme
- Sprinkling of chopped green onions
Directions: Cover the pig tails with broth in your super-sexy oven-safe big fat pot.
Add other ingredients. Bring to a boil on a burner while preheating your oven to 350. Let porky pig and his buddies’ curly ones cook about 3 hours in the oven with the lid on, making sure to flip the tails part-way through with tongs if not completely submerged. Drain broth to be reserved for another day. Brush tails with chili glaze (below) and roast, lid off, another 20 minutes, until they look darker brown. Brush with more glaze after cooking, sprinkle with green onions, and serve.
Sweet Chili Glaze (based on recipe here)
- 1/2C rice vinegar (I only had white wine vinegar so I used that)
- 3/4C sugar
- 1/4C water
- 1 healthy tablespoon of chili garlic sauce
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- a hunk of fresh ginger, chopped, if you have it — if not, 1 tsp ginger powder
Directions: Whisk ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce darkens and thickens.
Results: Well, I’m on the hook for a Superbowl appetizer on Sunday, and not sure that these will be my choice. They’re covered with a layer of fat that’s a bit blech, but once you get past that they’re not too bad — the meat is a lot like rib meat, but there’s less of it. Plus you have to bite it off vertebrae, which is a bit unappetizing. The “sweet chili glaze” is exactly what you would expect from that description. Not sure it would be my first choice for wings, but I will tuck the recipe away for a day I might want other types of pork, or even salmon or shrimp. Unfortunately, my rating overall will have to be 1 gag. This is nothing I would make for guests, but if someone’s mom were to serve me pig tails they’re not gross enough that I would have to decline.