How to Cook Pig Ears

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Cooked pig ears
Cooked pig ears (Image: 1911/iStock/Getty Images)

Nose-to-tail eating, or using as much of the animal for food as possible, isn't confined to the American South anymore, and the phrase, "use everything but the oink," is just as relevant in Seattle as it is in Savannah. Nose-to-tail cuisine is about resourcefulness and making the most of every ingredient, including pig ears. Pig ears contain a lot of collagen, which renders out into a rich, hearty broth during cooking, one you'll want to reserve for use in other dishes.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen torch or disposable razor
  • Large pot with a lid
  • Kosher salt
  • Aromatic spices, such as peppercorns, parsley stems and bay leaf
  • Vegetable oil
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Slotted spoon
  • Paper towels

Remove any hair left on the ears using a kitchen torch. You can also use a disposable razor to shave off the hair. Scrub the ears thoroughly under cool running water.

Season a pot of water to taste with kosher salt and aromatic spices for simmering; add the pig ears. Simmer the ears until tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Drain the pig ears and pat them dry with paper towels. Slice the ears, if desired.

Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat on the stove. Saute aromatic vegetables, such as garlic and shallots, until fragrant.

Add the pig ears to the pan and saute them until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.

References

  • The Professional Chef 9th ed.; The Culinary Institute of America
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