Total Time
7hrs
Prep 1 hr
Cook 6 hrs

Adopted! Original poster's comments: use it to moisten braised pork dishes or for sauces for any pork dish. It can be used as is or reduced from 4-5 cups to 1-2 cups. You can use other bony cuts, such as ribs, as long as they aren't too fatty and are fairly meaty. Otherwise, add a pound of meat to 1 1/2 pounds clean bones; without meat, the stock will have body but lack flavor. QDM: I have no idea where I would get pig's feet. It's illegal here to sell them and a butcher giving them away could be charged with some abstruse crime. So, will try to figure something else out for the gelatin...

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 12 lbs lean bone-in pork shoulder (fresh, not smoked) or 2 12 lbs pork shank, cut into 3 inch chunks (fresh, not smoked)
  • 12 small pig's foot, split (about 1 pound)
  • 4 cups cold chicken stock (enough to barely cover the meat and bones)
  • 4 cups cold water, enough to cover the meat and bones by about 1 inch, plus a little to deglaze the pan and stockpot
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved (12 ounces)
  • 2 stalks celery, leaves trimmed off (2 ounces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 -5 whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Crowd, but without piling them up, the pork and pig’s foot in a shallow roasting pan or in a 10- to 12-inch ovenproof skillet.
  3. (If you briefly preheat the pan over a low flame before you add the pork, it will sear on contact and be less likely to stick later on.) You should barely see the bottom of the pan; otherwise, the drippings will tend to burn in the exposed spots.
  4. Roast until golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Check the progress after about 25 minutes, and rearrange the pork, or turn it over, as needed, to promote even coloring.
  6. You may need to rotate the pan.
  7. Transfer the pork and foot, still warm, to a deep 8- to 10-quart stockpot.
  8. Pour off all of the fat from the pan, then add about 1/4 cup cold water to it, set over low heat, and scrape and stir to melt any gold or chestnut-colored drippings; don’t work on any black ones.
  9. Taste.
  10. If they are nice and porky, pour these reconstituted drippings into the stockpot; if the liquid tastes all scorched – like over-browned bacon – discard it.
  11. Add the cold chicken stock, then add water to cover by about an inch.
  12. (If using unsalted chicken stock, add a few pinches of salt.) Bring to a simmer and skim the foam.
  13. Poke under any exposed chunks of meat, then skim any new foam that rises to the surface.
  14. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, and peppercorns and stir them under.
  15. Simmer uncovered, without skimming or further stirring but tasting regularly, for 4 to 5 hours, until the stock is richly flavored and the color is of maple syrup, and has some body; check for this last by chilling a few drops of stock on a plate.
  16. You may need to adjust the heat to control the simmer, and you may need to poke the bones or add a few ounces of water to keep the meat and bones submerged during the long extraction.
  17. Strain the stock promptly; leave the meat and vegetable chunks in the strainer to continue dripping.
  18. Immediately pour about 1/4 cup water into the stockpot and swirl it briefly, to liquefy and capture the syrupy stock that is clinging to the pan.
  19. Pour this over the meat and vegetables, to rinse some of the rich syrup from their surfaces into the strained stock below.
  20. Leave the stock to cool completely.
  21. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate with the layer of fat intact – it will help preserve the stock until needed.