Nasty Bits: Pig Snout Soup

It’s been a long time since I did a nasty bits recipe. Then I got this inspiration the other day (blame Tamara, grin).

Now one of the interesting things about this dish is that it is a great psychological warfare against certain types of boys. You know, the “I wanna gross you out” kids. You’ve got a pig’s nose cooking in a greenish liquid.

AT THE SAME TIME, it is an outstanding split pea soup. And in fact at its heart it’s pretty close to being the easiest split pea soup you can make.

You need a pig snout, a pound of split peas, and water. You can, if you wish, add the various things you think you need for split pea soup: leeks, onions, carrots, garlic, etc. But those are optionals for your flavoring bonus.

Split the pig snout lengthwise and put it in the soup pot. Add the split peas. Add enough water to cover by about an inch, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat till it only simmers, and let it cook till the peas are “gone” and you’ve got a thick green soup. You need to stir it regularly to prevent burning and mix things a bit, but it’ll take an hour to an hour and a half to this point.

Now it’s time to do more with the pig snout. See, the snout is mostly but not wholly cartilage. All that heat is going to have melted that into your soup, filling it with richness and depth. But you’ve still got the skin, some fat, and a surprising amount of meat. You can pick out the meat and toss the skin, but I’ve another recommendation.

Take the two snout halves out of the soup and rinse them off. Now slice them cross-section about as thick as you like your bacon, and cook them exactly as you would bacon till the skin is crispy. That means broil (my preference) or fry. Some folk like to deep fry but I don’t usually keep a deep fryer set up — it does, however, tend to make a delicious and crispy piece. Anyway, when you serve the soup you can toss a few of these onto the top as you would bacon.

By the way, if you want the taste but can’t stand the thought of seeing snouts floating in green stuff there is an alternative. Chunk the snouts so they don’t look like what they are and make a broth, then remove the meat and use the broth for the split pea soup. It will take longer to make, but it’ll avoid having the censor in the back of your brain stomping on your gag reflex.

Pretty much everything else I’ve done with the pig snout has been using it for broth or crisping it similar to bacon. While there’s meat in there it’s not /that/ much meat, so its not worth roasting or slow-cooking in my opinion.

Oh yes, before I close this let me mention that you can get the snouts smoked, and yes it makes a difference. Both those points should be obvious, but I’ve learned the obvious isn’t.

Have fun.


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