Pig's trotters and ears are reconsidered presently - the big names in cooking started preparing them in tasteful dishes and they are not perceived as peasant's food anymore. But both of these parts of the pig were included many years ago in the cuisines of many countries. So today I present you one of Bulgarian well known dishes - Supa Pacha - a soup based entirely on trotters and ears. The high quantities of gelatin included in the trotters, which thickens the soup and the cartilage of the ears, which makes you feel a bit of crunch with every bite, are really a very good match. Pacha is a thick and gelatinous, nearly lip-sticking soup which: should be eaten hot; should be accompanied by some teaspoons of minced garlic soaked into vinegar; and sprinkled with hot peppers flakes, for sure.
There is also a cold version which is absolutely delicious.
For the soup:
- 4 pig's ears
- 3 pig's trotters
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 2 garlic gloves, peeled
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- salt to taste
Wash trotters very well and remove any excess hair.
Place all the ingredients in a deep pot, cover with water, put a lid on the pot and let simmer for at least 3 - 3 1/2 hours. It is important that the meat cooks slowly and for a long time in order to get tender. You will know when they are ready - after these hours of slow boiling you will have meat falling off the bones when you prod them.
Strain the broth and remove garlic and onion pieces. Leave trotters and ears to cool and chop them finely removing even the smallest bones. Add chopped meat to the broth (you can cut the boiled carrots into slices and also add them to the soup).
Prepare the garlic sauce:
Mince garlic, sprinkle with salt and add vinegar. Mix well and serve.
Serve Pacha soup hot with some garlic sauce and hot pepper flakes above. Enjoy!