The new superfood

18 Sep

Pristine my kitchen dare a dirty foot descend on freshly washed floor

pre-occupied by washing I noticed not when feet …

flew from the ground and stomped right into my sink.

Although I just added an extra line to the “Kitchen Feet” poem by Frances Martin, that’s about what happened, i.e., my wife came from the market with a salted pig’s feet and left it in the sink.  It may seem strange to some of you, but pig’s feet is a common dish in several parts of the world, including Brazil.  Around here it’s a typical component of the “feijoada”, a dish believed to have been created by the slaves in colonial times using pork meats which had been discarded by farmland owners (such as ears, tails and feet) in a big pot with black beans.  Recipes for such dish present significant regional variations in a huge country like Brazil, each one of them believed to represent “the real and original one”.  Probably none of them is (or all of them are). You can find a very simple and basic one at the “Cook Brazil” site (if you are willing to try it I’d recommend you to decrease the number of bay leaves – use 1 or 2, rather than 6 – and please, no canned beans).

These feet are usually preserved in salt, thus the first step in the preparation is to leave them for 12-24 h soaked in water, which must be changed at least 3 to 4 times during this period.  After that it must be carefully examined, as some hairs may have been left on the feet, and I bet you won’t like to find them in your dish (even though I always find a couple of them in mine).

A pig's foot ready to be cooked with black beans

A pig's foot ready to be cooked with black beans

After this pedicure you can follow almost any “feijoada” recipe, adding the feet as an ingredient.

And this was the result I’ve accomplished, here served with white rice (always present in a “feijoada”, even in a simple one) and a kale and bacon recipe:

Pig's foot with black beans and kale

Pig's foot with black beans and kale

Pig’s feet have a very high protein content, specially collagen.  It’s nutritional components are so interesting that it has even been declared “The new superfood” by the British Telegraph.  Think… if the price for beauty and eternal youth is to find a couple of pig’s hairs in your dish, then… (and don’t forget, pig’s feet have a great taste!).

Pigs' Feet on Foodista
Feijoada on Foodista

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