Sunday Night Soups, where each week The Gurgling Cod shows up to offer a soup appropriate to the week’s Sunday Night Football game on NBC. Think of this Pork Stock recipe as the pregame show—it takes a while, so we're posting it today. The recipe for the week's soup will come on Saturday.
This Sunday, the Chicago Bears travel to Wisconsin to face the Green Bay Packers. After dreary NFC East scrimmages and lopsided Belichickian beatdowns, this Norris Division contest is a welcome change. Soupwise, the matchup could hardly be more appealingthe Hog Butchers to the World travel to America's Dairyland. Thus, this tilt demands a soup featuring both pork and cheese. Such a soup exists: French onion soup.
"Where's the pork," you say, echoing the late Clara Peller. "French Onion Soup is made with beef broth."
Mostly, yes, but not in Montreal. At the legendary Au Pied du Cochon, Martin Picard soon realized that the braising liquid that ensued from churning out the eponymous dish could be the basis of a hearty soup. The collagen that comes from the cartilage in the trotter gives the broth a silky body and richness that is impossible to duplicate without trotters.
You may not have to cope with the results of braising hundreds of pigs' feet every week, but pork stock is still a dramatic upgrade over the typical French onion soup. Typical French onion soup is a bistro cliché that often devolves to something queso fundido floating on dishwater. Using a rich pork stock instead results in a soup actually worth eating. This soup is not demanding, but it is time-consuming, which is why we're posting the stock recipe well ahead of game day.
Adapted from the Zuni Café Cookbook.
- 4 pigs feet, split
- 2- to 3-pound pork shoulder or shank
- 1 quart homemade chicken stock (You can use water instead, but the results will not be as hearty. Do not be tempted to use store-bought stock, even the fancy kind that comes in a box.)
- Water to cover
- 1 garlic whole and unpeeled, halved through its equator
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 to 2 carrots
- 1 to 2 bay leaves
- A few peppercorns
Brown the bones, meat, onion and garlic in a roasting pan. Cover with water, bring to boil skimming off any scum as it appears. Add the chicken stock, carrots and spices, reduce heat, and allow to simmer, at least four hours, adding water to cover as needed. Strain stock – you may want to spray the solids with the sprayer from the sink to extract more stock from the solids. Allow to cool and refrigerate, leaving layer of fat intact. Tomorrow, what to do with all this stock.