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Ukrainian Jellied Pig's Feet (Head Cheese)

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“This recipe may be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.You don't have to broil the meat but it will not have that smoked flavour.”
5hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash and scrape the feet and shanks very thoroughly.
  2. Wipe dry and broil on all sides until they are a delicate golden color. Do not scorch. Should any part become scorched, scrape it and wash well.
  3. Cut the feet in half lengthwise. Place the meat in a large kettle, add the salt, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and skim. Cover and simmer very slowly for about 3 hours. The success of this dish depends on slow simmering. Rapid boiling makes the liquid milky in color.
  4. Cut the onion in half, and brown it in an ungreased pan. This enhances the flavor and color of the broth. Add the onion and the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT the vinegar, to the meat, and continue simmering until the meat comes off the bones easily.
  5. Total cooking time is about 5 hours or longer. When done, strain, remove the bones, spices, and vegetables except the carrot.
  6. Arrange the meat and chopped carrot in a suitable dish. Add the vinegar to the broth and season to taste with salt.
  7. If a firm jelly is desired, soften 1 tablespoon of gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Blend it with a small quantity of the hot broth and stir into the broth.
  8. Some cooks prefer to add a clove crushed garlic to the broth at this stage rather than to cook it along with the other ingredients. If this is followed, strain the broth again to remove all the particles of garlic.
  9. Pour over the meat and chill until firm. Before serving, scrape off all the fat from the top.
  10. Serve in slices and garnish with sprigs of parsley and hard cooked eggs.
  12. Follow the recipe above, but replace the shank with 1/2 small chicken. Simmer the pig's feet until barely tender, and then add the chicken and continue simmering until all are done. For best results use gelatin in this dish as directed in the recipe above.

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