Categorized |Bits and Bites, Pork

A Zesty Souse Recipe Inspired By A Cure For Hangovers.

trinidad pig foot souse (6)

I’m not much of a drinker, though I do enjoy a good Scotch ever so often and I do appreciate a Guinness or two when I’m on the islands (stronger than the ones we get here in North America). So having to deal with hangovers is something that’s completely foreign to me. I recall my uncle making this dish quite often, as he was a true connoisseur of the “rum” and dealing with hangovers were part of his routine. Aside from souse, he also made a deadly fish broth, that I still crave to this day.  Souse is traditionally made with parts of the pig that’s not really glamorous, but when I asked the butcher if she had any pig’s feet left, she told me they were all sold out. Imagine that!

Souse is basically a cold pickled soup, that’s marinated for a couple hours after you assemble it and it’s full of flavours from the peppers and pickling process. I guess it could be considered a light soup by our standards, especially since it’s not really filling (you’d have to eat a bucket full).

* Since I was unable to get the pig feet I went looking for I opted for the next best thing I could find, which was pork hocks. But I’m sure you could use pork bones or rib ends to make this with success. And if all fails, you can always use chicken feet.

You’ll Need…

1lb pork hocks
1/2 medium red onion sliced thin
juice of 4 limes
1 hot pepper sliced thin (use habanero or scotch bonnet for best results)
dash fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt (but do taste after marinating to adjust to your liking)
2 cloves of garlic crushed
4 cups water
1 cucumber sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (traditionally shado beni is used, but I didn’t have any)

Wash the hocks or whatever parts you were able to source, then place in a deep pot with water – add the couple cloves of garlic and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and allow it to cook for a couple hours covered – until the meat starts falling off the bones. If you have a pressure cooker, do your thing.

trinidad pig foot souse

trinidad pig foot souse (2)

Then drain the cooked meat and give it a good rinse under cool water and set it aside to cool down. Now prepare all the ingredients for the sort of pickling process. Slice the onion, pepper, cucumber and cilantro. if you’re using shado beni, use about 4-6 leaves.

trinidad pig foot souse (3)

By now the meat should be cooled enough to work with. Strip away the meat off the bone in small pieces and place in a large bowl. Traditionally the skin is also added in some instances, but I’m trying to live a little healthier, so out with the skin… but I did keep the bones. Then add all the stuff we sliced, the salt, fresh ground black pepper, lime juice and water and give it a good stir.

trinidad pig foot souse (4)

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trinidad pig foot souse (6)

Now here’s where you’ll need a little patience, since the smell will be alluring and you’ll be tempted to dig in right away. The combination of the lime juice, fresh sliced cucumber and hot pepper gives this an amazing aroma. Cover this and allow it to marinate for a couple hours. I’ve seen some people add the garlic just before the marinating process with the other fresh ingredients, but I much prefer to add it during the boiling of the meat, just to infuse the meat with it’s flavor and not over-power the main dish.

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24 Responses to “A Zesty Souse Recipe Inspired By A Cure For Hangovers.”

  1. Deborah says:

    I am not familiar with this dish and would like to try it. After allowing this to ‘sit’ for a couple of hours, then how is this served? Hot/ cold ? Is it a Soup? What would you accompany it with? Thanks for any feedback.

  2. PatG says:

    We use “totters” or pigs feet obtained at T&T in Port Coquitlam, BC – which is a suburb of Vancouver (T&T is a President’s Choice/Loblaws subsidiary) but one can also use pigs ears and pigs face/snout) both also available at T&T. In his youth my husband used it as a “cutter” (to prevent one from getting drunk/soused) and it was served at the local rum shops. It was also served at home during the holiday season/Xmas. In those days it was important to use wiri-wiri peppers because they have a wonderfully floral fragrance and also to use “Guyanese thyme” but those are both difficult to source in Canada so we make do with “bird”/Thai peppers and scotch bonnet peppers and “regular” thyme.

  3. SUSAN says:

    In Barbados souse is an every weekend dish and we eat it with breadfruit or sweet potatoes. We diced (fine) everything,onions, cucumber, scotch bonnet, sweet pepper however we use parsley (curly leaf is better).

    With that pickle minus meat and less water you can eat it on breadfruit coucou and with green bananas. Delicious.

    If you put some saltfish (codfish) in the pickle even better.

    We souse pork, the tongue and ears are great, and we use chicken feet or wings sometimes pigtail. I LOVE ALL KINDS.

    ps try pickle with less water and lime as side dish with food especially rice and peas and beef stew.

  4. Marlene Turner says:

    I haven’t had spouse in years since I’m vegetarian but I do crave the taste of that broth soaked up with fresh baked bread. I’ve had all the versions mentioned here but growing up in my household we used pig head, unbelievable amounts of meat from it.

  5. Septembre says:

    Great recipe! Souse is one of my favourite Trinidadian dishes. I don’t eat pork so I grew up on chicken foot souse and swapped the pork hocks for the chicken. My only tip is to rinse the chicken foot really, really, really well to prevent congealing when you put it in the fridge.

  6. Joyce Taylor says:

    I grew up with an Adventist father who forbade me to eat pork.(Sin)So my first taste of souse I was 16yrs old and it was made from pig’s head. Lots of meat

  7. Debbie says:

    One of the best souse dish I have ever tasted. I used cow skin instead. My husband loved it very much. Thank you.

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