Roast pig tails recipe

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.


Thanks, Chris Otto and!

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.

Pig tails recipeMine were not curly. I knew you were wondering. They also looked pretty disgusting. Everything I do, I do for you, people. 

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.

Red Staub Dutch Oven

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.

Roast pig tails recipe

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.

Sweet chili glaze pig tails recipe

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. 


  1. Leave a Reply

    January 30, 2015

    Ann, I admire you!! You’re so courageous!! I cannot even look at them!! I’ve never seen them sold anywhere and I’m not going to look for them!! I didn’t even know this part of the animal is being sold! I can even feel the fat on my palate!! I shudder at their sight dangerously!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 30, 2015

      Yes, they’re definitely odd. But ox tail is much more common in the Caribbean communities, so I told myself I wasn’t being TOO crazy. But to imagine myself chewing on the tail of a live pig… I guess chewing on its ribs or hind quarters is weird too, though. This blog will make me a vegan yet. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Love having my exotic Greek commenter!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite
    January 30, 2015

    Bravo. Despite your review of 1 gag I still want some. I’d say that’s a post well done. Or at least a pretty picture well done. Because that last picture? Yup. I still want some even if they are gag worthy.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 30, 2015

      Hey, and look who comes up for breath from diaperville! Great to see you back! I’m sure your hubby could find you a few of these fresh enough to still have their squiggle. (Apologies, once again, to the vegetarians). And about the pictures, winter food photos are very tricky, as I’m sure you well know, because once the sun goes down, at like, 2pm (feels like, anyway), you’re stuck with crappy light at dinner time. So your compliment just put a spring in my step (yet alas, not yet in the weather).

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 30, 2015

      Thanks! Wish I could apply your design sense to my website and life in general, but c’est la vie. 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    January 31, 2015

    Sorry the pig tails made the “gag” list. Although pig tails look like loped off troll fingers, it is something I’ve had a couple times and enjoyed. Just like a turkey neck, I don’t mind munching meat off the vertebrae. Been quite a few years since I indulged in pigs tail but if I remember correctly, the trick to them is to render off the fat by roasting….which also crisps up the skin too. Boiling any fatty cut of meat doesn’t render off much of the fat and I find it actually makes the fat kind of gelatin like…which is a bit funky IMO. Anywhooo, hope you don’t mind me chirping about my experience with pig tails. Though you weren’t happy with the outcome, rest easy knowing us readers are happy with yet another fun article. Cheers!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 31, 2015

      Damn, you mean I have to cook my troll fingers AGAIN? (the perfect restaurant name, BTW, akin to chicken fingers). I did see recipes for roasting, and also barbecuing, without the boiling part. I’m still suspicious that it would render the fat, which was a good inch, I’d say. I liked that boiling it DID make it go gelatin-like, but then I was able to scrape it off and roast it relatively fat-free (maybe I didn’t mention that in the recipe clearly). I was concerned that roasting straight up might not have tenderized the meat well enough — my odd bits experience has made me gun-shy of eating odd cuts without prepping them hard core, which might be a “me” problem. But more importantly, this discussion raises a question — chicken wings. I’ve had friends who say to boil first, then deep fry. On this Superbowl weekend, do we happen to have any chicken wing experts? I put my money on you, Burger Nerd. I HATE homemade wings that are far fattier than in restaurants.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    January 31, 2015

    Ugh, I actually misread your article and thought you only had it in the oven for 20 mins and the rest of the time braising on the stove top (btw, love your new toy!!!). Plus for some reason I thought you said you left the lid on for that 20 mins to finish them off. My apologies….I read your article in the wee hours while working the night shift watching the newborn 🙂 However, I stand by my fat rendering claims for pig’s tail.

    I’m not a pig’s tail expert by any means but I think you were on point with the aromatic braising to start the dish. Where I think you might have taken a different approach would be to have drained and transfer the pig tails to a shallow roasting dish, don’t scrape off the gelatinous fat, crank your oven to 500 preheat (to kick start the dish), light drizzle of oil and salt on the tails, place the tails in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 275’ish, and go for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours (depending on how long it takes to get the desired color and crispiness) occasionally flipping. Then glaze, roast for ten mins more, glaze again and serve. I’d like to note I’ve only made pig tails a few times and haven’t had them in over ten years so I could also be mixed up about my approach too. Maybe I’ll have to take another crack at it one day….though I suspect I’d be eating a plate of it by myself since the notion of piggly wigglies would send my wife running for the hills.

    I used to be of the mindset to never cook wings ahead of time to ensure they stay super juicy (which they do). But now if I’m barbecuing, or deep frying wings, I almost always par cook the wings in the oven at 375 for ten – fifteen mins. It helps render out some of the fat, speeds up the cooking process, lessens nasty flare ups on the bbq, and doesn’t beat the heck out of deep fryer oil. Never tried boiling wings beforehand so I have to reserve my opinion on that.

    Always fun talking foodie stuff! Sorry if I babbled on a bit there 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 31, 2015

      I’m in this crazy game for the food banter, so don’t apologize! Love the tail and wing advice. Might have to try some wings tomorrow! Happy midnight baby shifts. Enjoy the delirium of parenting 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    February 24, 2015

    Yeesh….of course, I am not a big pork person anyway. 🙂

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