Moms New Years Pigs Feet: Traditions, Recipes, and Perfect Pairings

Moms New Years Pigs Feet: Traditions, Recipes, and Perfect Pairings

Pigs feet hold a deep-rooted place in New Year’s celebrations. In many cultures, pork symbolizes prosperity and progress. Eating pigs feet on New Year’s Day is thought to bring good fortune. The tradition dates back centuries and spans various ethnicities. For some, it’s a nod to agrarian lifestyles where every part of the pig was used, illustrating respect for the animal.

Variations Across Cultures

Different cultures have unique ways of preparing pigs feet. In the Southern United States, pigs feet are often cooked with vinegar, spices, and served with collard greens or black-eyed peas. Koreans make a dish called “jokbal,” boiled with soy sauce and spices. Germans enjoy “Schweinshaxe,” a roasted and seasoned version. Each culture incorporates its flavors and ingredients, showcasing its culinary heritage.

Recipe Breakdown for Mom’s New Years Pigs Feet

Ingredients and Substitutes

To prepare Mom’s New Years Pigs Feet, gather the following ingredients:

  • 4 pigs feet
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

For substitutes:

Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Follow these steps to create the dish:

  1. Clean the Pigs Feet: Rinse the pigs feet thoroughly under cold water and pat them dry.
  2. Prepare the Stock: In a large pot, combine water, chopped onion, minced garlic, bay leaf, salt, black peppercorns, and crushed red pepper.
  3. Cook the Pigs Feet: Add pigs feet to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Simmer: Cover the pot and let it simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours until the meat is tender, turning occasionally.
  5. Add Vinegar: Pour in apple cider vinegar 30 minutes before the end of simmering.
  6. Finish: Remove pigs feet from the pot and let them cool slightly before serving.

This step-by-step guide ensures your Mom’s New Years Pigs Feet retain their traditional flavor and texture.

Nutritional Value and Health Considerations

Benefits of Pigs Feet

Pigs feet offer various nutritional benefits. High in collagen, they promote skin elasticity and joint health. Collagen helps improve skin hydration, reducing wrinkles and dryness. Pigs feet also provide essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which support bone health. With a high protein content, around 17 grams per 100 grams, they contribute to muscle maintenance and repair. The B vitamins, including B12 and niacin in pigs feet, help with energy production and brain function. Including these nutrients can enrich your diet when complemented with a variety of other healthy foods.

Dietary Cautions

While pigs feet present nutritional benefits, consider certain health considerations. They contain high levels of fat, especially saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease if consumed excessively. Each 100-gram serving includes about 20 grams of fat. Pigs feet are also naturally high in sodium, which can impact blood pressure. If you have hypertension, moderation or reduced-sodium recipes are advisable. Additionally, due to high levels of purines, they may aggravate conditions like gout when eaten frequently. Balancing pigs feet with other low-purine foods can help mitigate this risk. Ensure a varied diet to obtain all necessary nutrients without over-relying on any single food source.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Best Side Dishes

Collard Greens: Traditional collard greens seasoned with garlic and smoked ham hocks add depth and complement the savory richness of pigs’ feet.

Black-Eyed Peas: For a complete Southern New Year’s meal, serve black-eyed peas. They symbolize luck and pair well with the texture of the feet.

Sauerkraut: In German tradition, serve pigs’ feet with sauerkraut, which adds a tangy contrast and aids digestion.

Kimchi: For a Korean twist, pair pigs’ feet with kimchi. Its spicy crunch offers a delightful juxtaposition to the tender meat.

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes soak up the flavors and offer a familiar comfort food vibe.

Red Wine: Serve a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon to balance the rich flavors of the dish.

Beer: A crisp lager or a light ale can cleanse your palate and enhance the overall meal experience.

Soju: In Korean cuisine, soju pairs well with pigs’ feet, complementing the dish’s savory profile.

Apple Cider: Non-alcoholic and slightly sweet, apple cider provides a pleasant contrast to the savory and salty notes.


Embracing the tradition of preparing pigs’ feet for New Year’s Day not only honors cultural heritage but also brings a flavorful and nutritious dish to your table. Whether you’re following Southern, Korean, or German methods, each preparation offers unique tastes and textures. Pairing pigs’ feet with traditional sides and complementary beverages elevates the meal, making your celebration both delicious and meaningful. This New Year’s, let pigs’ feet be a symbol of prosperity and a delightful culinary experience for you and your loved ones.

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