Categorized |Pork

Salted Pig Tail And Ground Provisions Soup.

salted pigtail soup recipeLike the recipe I posted back in May 2009 for a Saturday favourite “Pig Tail Soup“, the base ingredients for this soup is pretty much the same. Except the final texture (consistency) and overall taste does differ. Yet another traditional dish enjoyed through the islands, with variations according to every one’s own unique way of preparation. My uncle on my mom’s side would make this soup on a Monday after a weekend of feteing (partying) to according to him..revive! Before we get to the recipe I must mention that you must be careful when stewing (browning) the seasoned pigtail. Since the meat still has it’s skin and it’s very fatty, when it hits the oil/sugar it will splatter a bit. Use a deep pot if you can and a long handle cooking spoon. Just to be safe.

You’ll Need…

2 lbs salted pig tails (cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)
1 sweet potato (about 1lb)
1-2 lbs yams
4 eddoes (about 1 lb)
3 medium/large potatoes
3 tablespoon chopped cilantro (if you don’t have shado beni)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 carrot (cut into coins)
1/4 teaspoon blackpepper
1/4 hot pepper (adds great flavour and some bite)
1 scallion (green onions)
3 sprigs thyme
1 can black eye peas – 19 oz/540 ml (Use whatever canned beans you may have in the pantry)
6 cups hot water
3 tablespoon oil
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 tomato
1 pimento pepper (optional ..if you have)
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
Macaroni (optional)

* Feel free to add any other ground provision you may have (cassava, dasheen or green bananas). If you’re good at making dumplings, it would also make a great addition to this soup.

* I used black eye peas in this version, but my favourite is lentils which I didn’t have.

*NOTE: Try to get your butcher to cut the salted pigs tails for you, as it can do some serious damage to your knife if you try doing it for yourself.

The very first step is to cut the salted pig tails if you didn’t already get your butcher to do so. Then wash and place in a deep pot, to which you’ll add enough water to cover it by at least 1 inch. Bring this to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer. I cook this for a fairly long time (at least 1 hr), until it’s tender. This also works to remove some of the salt the pig tails were preserved in.

pigtail soup

trinidad pigtail soup

While that simmer away I peel and cut the provisions/vegetables I’ll be adding to the soup (potato,yams,eddoes,sweet potato,carrot etc). I then wash and place in a bowl with water to prevent it from going discolored. I also chop/dice the other ingredients..pepper, onion, garlic, tomato, scallion, thyme, cilantro..etc.

TIP : Try you best to cut the vegetables so they’re all pretty much the same size, so they can all cook at the same time.

salted pigtail soup

salted pigtail with provision soup

provision for pigtail soup

After 60-70 minutes the pigtails should start getting really tender. Remove off the stove and drain well. In the same pot (no need to dirty a bowl) let’s season the cooked pigtail with: onion,garlic,pimento pepper, hot pepper (I use habanero), scallion, thyme, cilantro, garlic, ketchup, black pepper and worcestershire sauce. Mix well and get ready to brown or stew.

In a large pot over high/medium heat, heat the oil then add the brown sugar. Move around the sugar so it melts and start going caramel like. You’ll start seeing bubbles (frothy) and it will change colour, going from golden to dark brown. See pic below to see when we’ve reached the right colour. Now start adding (remember what I said above about splatters) the seasoned meat. Stir well so everything gets coated evenly.

recipe for pigtail soup

seasoned pigtail for soup

browning pigtail for trini soup

browning pigtail for soup

trinidad salted pigtail soup

Allow this to continue browning for about 5 minutes so we get a nice rich brown colour. Remember to stir often to avoid it sticking or burning. Then drain the provisions/vegetables we had sitting in the bowl of water and start adding the pieces to the pot. Stir well so they get coated as well.

cooking salted pig tail soup

trini pigtail soup

The next step is to rinse the peas (remember you can use your favourite peas) under running water. I do this since I don’t care for the liquid it’s packaged in. Then add it to the soup pot.

peas for pigtail soup

recipe for trini slated pigtail soup

Stir everything well, then add enough water to cover everything. In my case it was 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 35 minutes. If you’re adding green bananas (remember to peel first) add the last 10 minutes of cooking, same can be said if you’re adding macaroni and/or dumplings . Check to see if your yams etc is cooked, by pushing a sharp knife through it. If there’s no resistance, you know it’s fully cooked.

The way to end this recipe is to add about 1 tablespoon of golden ray butter the last couple minutes. But since that butter is not the best for our health and sourcing it may be difficult if you live in North America… you can leave that out. However, that added flavour is truly unique.

Now check for salt. Notice I didn’t mention salt in the ingredients list, since the salt from the salted pic tails is usually enough for this dish. however, this is a personal preference so check at the end (after you’ve add the golden ray if you’re doing so) to see if you’d like to add some more.

trini salted pigtail soup

how to cook pigtail soup

salted pigtail soup recipe

I’d love to hear from you guys to know your recipe for making this. I know my mom browns the provisions instead of the pigtails (just her way I guess)… leave me your comments below.

happy cooking


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43 Responses to “Salted Pig Tail And Ground Provisions Soup.”

  1. Hi Chris: Thank you for another great recipe!
    I was wondering though – why the need to ‘brown’ the pig tails?
    Could we not use a slightly healthier version and just saute the tails and then continue the recipe as you have instructed?

  2. Nic says:

    EH No..I do not know who made this recipe but in Trinidad and Tobago.We do not put Black Eye peas in our traditional soup..We use Yellow Split peas..And we do not brown our pigtail or saute it in a sauce pan lol
    We boil it separately cause it is very gets most of the salt out..
    We boil the yellow s.peas in a pot with seasonings and then add the Pig tail later on to cook..along with Provisions and flour dumplings or Macaroni..

    • admin says:

      Bear in mind that EVERY home will have their own take on a similar recipe. That is the beauty of cooking and recipes.. tailor it to your own liking. Thanks for taking the time to share your comments.

  3. Jean Gordon says:

    Hi Chris:

    I used to make this soup when I lived in Panama and in New York, but with split peas. About a week ago I had a yearning for soup, but here in Costa Rica you cannot get salted pigtails, so the soup will never taste the same. Thank you for bringing back memories of like another lifetime! Keep up the great work! God bless!

    Jean Gordon.

  4. Brent Lewis says:

    Chris:I am just making the soup as I write this(simmer stage). I added some ingredients local to Panama, Yucca and a veggie that looks like a pear. A woman in the local town (Almirante) makes soup everyday and it is wonderful. I can’t wait to try mine. I will keep you posted as to the taste.

  5. Rosalind says:

    I always make pigtail soup but with split peas or 5-beans. My soup must always have dumplings and sweet potato. The soup is really thick and great. I have never caramelled/browned my pigtail before cooking it in the soup. With this method isn’t the pigtail going to loose that brown colour anyway?

  6. Merlene Kudiabor says:

    I had pigtail soup before but never like this.

  7. Brenda says:

    We do our soup with red peas though,thanks for the recipe Chris

  8. Josie says:

    Hi Chris

    You should try using split peas, it adds a fantastic flavour. Soak it overnight though.

  9. klp says:

    Tree words….yummy yummy yummy….I have tried mostly all…cause I ca cook up too….you are awesome abd I recommended this site…now everyone wabt to be "Trini to da bone"

  10. trinidad says:

    im a chef myself and i find your recipies all good n tasty. keep up d good work .

  11. carol says:

    Hi Chris, I had pigtail soup last Saturday but I prefer to make it with split peas or dhal. In this way the soup is thicker and creamier. I also like to put eddoes, sweet potatoes, irish potatoes and green fig as well as pumpkin and carrots. In the end you get a lovely bowl of nutritous meddly of provision. Yet I will try it one day with can peas. Thanks.

  12. myrna says:

    looks good can not o pigs feet

  13. Zona says:

    Chris, I thought it was only in Guyana we had 'bush cook'…. I am based on the other side of the globe and I literally cried when I went thru your detailed recipes….. Evident is your love for OUR food!!! Garlic pork, dhal puri; sancoche… all beautiful!!!! Keep up the good work!!! Blessings….


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