Pork Jelly is essentially a broth made with leftover pig organs as main ingredients. Other ingredients are added to make the jelly richer and more flavorful. Most often, the jelly is served and consumed as an appetizer, but sometimes, it is also used as an ingredient in more elaborate soups, casseroles, stews, etc. The modern version of the jelly is made with lean meat cuts and there is sometimes no use of any leftover organs.
Pork jellies have been around since the ancient times. Many believe that these originated in Europe where people strongly believed that no part of the hunted or slaughtered animal should be wasted. While the finer cuts were for the wealthy, the poor had to make-do with leftovers. This has led to the invention of many important dishes across the world, pork jellies being one of them.
Pork Jelly Recipe Overview
Ingredients: Traditional ingredients used in the preparation of Pork Jelly include pig trotters, pork ears, pork rind, onion, tomato, vinegar, lime/lemon juice and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Vegetables that complement pork are at times added to the preparation to make it richer and more flavorful. Carrot, leek, celery and parsley are some of the most popularly added vegetables. Traditionally, the gelatin released by pork cuts during cooking was enough and no additional jellying agents were added. In the modern times, however, artificial gelatin is often added to aid quicker cooking.
Preparation Overview: The preparation of the dish is a fairly easy process. The pig organs are first placed in cold water and then slow cooked for about 3 hours. The broth thus obtained is allowed to cool and any undesirable fat is removed. Other ingredients are added to the broth and the mixture is then allowed to cool. The broth turns into a jelly because of the presence of jelly. Alternate methods of making the jelly include usage of beef, celery or even pig bones as main ingredients.
Pork Jelly Regional Variations
In Poland, the jelly dish is known as galareta and is a popular appetizer, part of the main course or even an important ingredient in various dishes. The preparation is particularly popular in Hungary where it is known as kocsonya. In Hungarian cuisine, the jelly is used in various ways. In Romania and Greece, Pork Jelly is known as piftie and pacha, respectively. During Esater and Christmas, it is a must-have and a popular household preparation.
Poultry jellies are a variation of pork jellies where the main ingredient is poultry leftovers/parts. The preparation method and usage are, however, almost the same.
Pork Jelly Trivia
Pork Jelly is used to preserve the meat in pork pies.