For The Best Broth, Add A Pig's Foot

Whether you're simmering up a soup or sipping this warm liquid on its own, the broth is such a flavorful ingredient that's typically made by boiling marrow and cartilage-rich bones in water for long periods of time. Its umami-ness gives it that irresistible punch that takes dishes to the next level, but who was the person that thought animal bones could create something so delicious? Bone broth actually started out with a more medicinal approach. 

According to Ossa Organic, the broth was used in Chinese medicine dating back 2,500 years ago for support in kidney and digestive health. Once it gained popularity, it became a huge part of Asian cuisine, with many different Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dishes using it as the base. From then on, different diets encouraged it, and it has since become a worldwide kitchen staple and essential in cooking. While beef, chicken, and vegetable broths are so common that you can just buy a carton at the store, there's one type of bone broth that requires you to make it yourself. Even though it's a bit of extra effort, adding a pig's foot to your broth is completely worth it because it creates the ideal texture. 

It creates the perfect consistency

Also known as a trotter, pig's foot is a surprising ingredient that amplifies broth, soups, and even stews. According to Serious Eats, the piece of meat has a much milder flavor profile, allowing you to sneak it into broths with other types of protein, like chicken or beef. It won't reek of pork, but it will change the texture in a positive way. This is due to the abundance of little bones, joints, cartilage, meat, and tendons all wrapped into one big bundle. If you keep this ingredient in your kitchen at all times, you'll have a strong tool and a big advantage over other cooks. Simply wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

Let's talk about the term "trotter gear." Fergus Henderson was the first to discover the potential this piece of meat had, coining the phrase simply the makeup of the dish is trotters, a.k.a. Pig's foot, simmered in water to create stock. The liquid becomes concentrated and extra gelatinous when chilled in the fridge, resembling more of a rubber eraser. When needing an extra boost in sauces, soups, stews, pasta dishes, risottos, and more, simply add enough in, tasting as you go, until the consistency and flavor are just right.