Can you think of a better Sunday dinner? I can’t. Last week Thursday was the very first time I attempted to make this. It was good but it came up a little short. But yesterday was my redemption. I tried this once more and it was a success. It wasn’t salty or not as tender as last time but it was just right.
This isn’t the first time I’ve worked with pigtails. In fact, it’s a staple here in Jamaica. It’s a well known ingredient in our traditional stewed peas (traditionally made with red kidney beans). Cooking pigtails was something I already knew how to do. After I saw a picture online of barbecue pigtails, I knew I had to try it. I’m not much of a grill master so I decided to use the oven. I also made my own sauce with honey, soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar and spices. Paired with a nice salad, everything came out perfectly.
If you’re not familiar with how to cook pigtails, don’t worry it’s easier than you think. But the best advise I could give you is to invest in a pressure cooker (or instant pot) if you don’t have one already. Reason? The pigtails can take a while to cook but if you’re using a pressure cooker then it’ll cook in 20- 25 minutes. It’s that simple and easy.
My family and I are incredibly pleased with the outcome of this dish. So much that it’s permanently added to our family meals for life. I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you so it can become a part of your family as well.
30 minPrep Time
2 hr, 30 Cook Time
3 hrTotal Time
- 4 lbs Pigtails
- 3 cloves of garlic
- small piece of ginger
- 2 tbsp vinegar (seperated
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 lbs potatoes (small to medium size. Sweet potatoes will work too)
- 2 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil)
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 4 tbsp hot sauce
- 1 tbsp vinegar (preferably apple cider for the sauce)
- Spices of your choice (BBQ seasoning, garlic powder, etc)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour (I used oat flour)
- Spicy honey soy sauce (that you made)
- 2 tbsp of honey
- a sprig of thyme
- one cup of water
- a head of lettuce
- one large tomato, diced
- one medium cucumber, chopped
- 2 tbsp mayo/ plain yogurt for dressing
- salt to taste
- Place the pigtails in a large pot and rinse with water to get rid of some of the salt. Discard the water then refill the pot with water covering the meat. Allow the pigtails to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Place the pot over medium high heat, add vinegar and baking powder. Bring to a boil then remove the pot from the stove. Discard the water. Taste to see if the pigtail is still too salty. If so, you can boil it again.
- Set the oven at 400 degrees. Rinse the potatoes and pat dry. Add the oil and salt to taste. Place on a baking sheet and bake for one and a half hours. Check on the potatoes and remember to turn them so they don't burn.
- In the meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining the honey, soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar and spices in a bowl and set aside.
- Once you've remove quite a bit of salt from the pigtails, place it in a pressure cooker and cook for 20- 25 minutes. Let the cooker release then remove the pigtails from the water. Save two cups of the water for the gravy.
- Place the pigtails on a baking sheet that has been greased. Use a basting brush to add the sauce over the pigtails. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. At the halfway mark, add more of the sauce to the pigtails.
- While the pigtails and potatoes bake, make the gravy. Put a sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Once it begins to bubble, add flour and stir. Be careful not let it burn. Add the water from the pressure cooker you saved, spices, honey, thyme, ginger and regular water. Cook the gravy until it simmers and thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Toss together the ingredients for the salad then set aside.
- Once the pigtails and potatoes are done, remove from the oven and allow it to cool a bit. Plate your meals and enjoy!
You won't remove all the salt from the pigtails and you're not suppose to. The point of boiling it is to remove most of the salt and cook the meat a bit. Soaking the pigtails in water over night will work best. If after you pressure the pigtails it's still not tender enough (which I doubt), pressure it for an additional 15 minutes.