BBQ Pig Tails is not one of the more glamorous dishes to come out of the Caribbean and to be honest the first time I saw this being grilled in Barbados a few years back, I was a bit apprehensive. Don’t get me wrong, I loved salted pig tails in soups and stewed, but I found the whole grilling idea a bit weird. I don’t discriminate when it comes to food, so it was only a matter of time before this piggy dish made its way on my grill.
Though it wasn’t a dish you’d hear about when I was growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, I know from speaking with my dad and uncle, that it’s quickly becoming a popular option when the charcoal grills are prepped and ready to do nice things to meats (and vegetables?). BBQ pig tails are very easy to put together and you can personalize it by the seasonings you add to it when it’s boiled and you’re free to use your favorite BBQ sauce to give it the finishing touch.
2 lbs salted pig tails
1 tablespoon green seasoning
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 lime or lemon
Using the juice of a lime or lemon, wash the salted pieces of pig tails and rinse with cool water. Scrape with a knife and keep an eye out for any hairs (remove). Then place in a deep pot with water and bring to a boil. Allow this to boil on a rolling boil for 45 minutes.
After 45 mins, drain and rinse with clean water. Then place the pig tails back in the pot, top with water and bring to a boil. As it starts to boil, add the green seasoning (see here for a video on making green seasoning) and reduce the heat so it’s a rolling boil. Allow this to boil for 50 minutes. The boiling in water will do two things; remove the salt the pig tails were cured in and help the meat to become very tender. By adding the green seasoning (or any seasoning/herbs you like), you’re infusing the pig tails with additional flavors.
After 50 minutes of boiling, discard the water and get ready to grill. Don’t rinse as you want the green seasoning to remain on the pieces of pig tails.
Place on a hot grill (about 375-400F) and keep any eye on it as it’s easy to char with all the skin and fat. After a couple minutes you can start brushing with your favorite BBQ sauce.. do so liberally! Turn the heat down a bit as you really want to develop some caramelized flavors and not burn the bunch. Keep flipping and brushing with bbq sauce you so you’ll end up BBQ pig tails which are sticky and well infused with the smokey flavor of the grill.
All it takes is about 10-15 minutes on the grill, but it’s important that you keep moving them around and keep brushing with BBQ sauce. Your BBQ pig tails will now be ready to serve.. cut them (use a cleaver or chefs knife) into 2 inch pieces and top with some chopped parsley (make it pretty looking). With all the pre-boiling we did, the meat will be falling off the bones. The sweetness from the caramelized BBQ sauce from the open flame of the grill will add a wonderful flavor to the sort of salty undertones of the brine these pig tails were originally cured in.
I hope you’re enjoying all the recipes off the grill I’ve been sharing this month and don’t hesitate in giving this BBQ pig tails a try.. you’ll be surprised how tasty they are.