The idea of eating pork innards may be off-putting to some, but pork stomach and intestines can be used to create a variety of comforting dishes. Start off a meal with a crispy snack of deep-fried pork intestines, or chitlins, then move on to the main course with a hearty bowl of pork stomach stew or a satisfying pork stomach stuffed with meat and potatoes. Whether simmered, fried or oven-roasted, stomach and chitlins benefit from a thorough cleaning before being added to any dish.
Purchasing and Preparing
Pork stomach and intestines can be found at specialty meat markets or your local butcher shop. Intestines should be special ordered from a butcher as cleaning them is an intensive process best left to professionals. Both organs should be rinsed in cold water; carefully examine intestines to make sure no grit is present. Stomach should be thoroughly washed in a water and white vinegar mixture by rubbing the stomach folds together. It should then be boiled in water for a few minutes, rinsed and then it will be ready for use. This cleansing process reduces the pungent offal flavor of the stomach.
Stomach is typically simmered over several hours to make it tender. Chop the stomach into small pieces and add it to a pot full of water, then simmer for three to four hours. Add seasonings to the water such as chopped onions and smashed garlic cloves, chili peppers or powder, or dried herbs like thyme and oregano. Stewed stomach can be used to make tacos, tossed into stir-fry or combined with ingredients like beans and potatoes to make savory soups and stews.
Pork stomach can also be stuffed and slow roasted in the oven. Stuff the stomach with ingredients such as potatoes, sausage, carrots and onions and flavor it how you would like. Season it simply with fresh ground pepper and dried herbs like thyme, oregano and parsley, or add some heat with cayenne pepper. Sweeten the stomach by stuffing it with sweet potatoes or yams and sprinkling it with brown sugar. Bake the stuffed stomach in a baking dish with a small amount of liquid at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, covered, for approximately two hours. Bake for an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
Pork intestines are transformed into a crispy snack dubbed chitlins after they are first simmered for two to two-and-a-half hours, or until tender. Once cooled, the intestines can then be cut into bite-size pieces, coated in flour, seasoned simply with salt and pepper and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. Chitlins are often served with vinegar and hot sauce for dipping.