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How to Make Pork Stock & Jelly

  • 2-3 kg pork bones and trotters, preferably from native breed pigs for optimum quality
  • 4-5 litres of filtered water (enough to cover the bones)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • A bundle of aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary, bay leaves)
  • 2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Creating a concentrated jelly from pork bones and trotters is an age-old culinary technique that marries the principles of both gastronomy and nutrition. Not only will this jelly provide a depth of flavour to your dishes, but it's also rich in collagen, minerals, and other nutrients beneficial for joint health, skin, and overall well-being. So, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of making this hearty jelly.

Slow Method:

Preparing the Bones

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C. Arrange the pork bones and trotters on a roasting tray and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until they turn golden-brown. Roasting enriches the flavour profile.

Cooking the Jelly

  • Transfer the bones to your pan or slow cooker.
  • Add the water, ensuring the bones are completely submerged. If not, add more water.
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar; this helps to extract minerals from the bones.
  • Toss in your aromatics—the herbs, carrots, onions, and garlic.
  • Season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Slow Simmer

  • Bring to a light simmer and then reduce the heat to maintain it.
  • Cook for 24-48 hours. The longer the simmer, the more concentrated and nutrient-rich the jelly will be.
  • Skim off any foam or fat that rises to the top during cooking. This will help clarify your jelly.

Straining and Storing

  • Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a large bowl or container. Discard the solids.
  • Let it cool, then transfer the liquid into storage jars or containers.
  • Refrigerate for a few hours until the liquid sets into a jelly-like consistency.

Optional: Reducing for Concentration

If you'd like to make your jelly even more concentrated, you can reduce it further by simmering the strained liquid on a low heat until it reaches your desired consistency.

There you have it—a nourishing, collagen-rich pork bone and trotter jelly that not only ups your kitchen game but also provides a boost of vital nutrients. This jelly can be a versatile addition to your recipes, enhancing sauces, soups, or gravies with both flavour and nutrition.

Advantages of Using a Pressure Cooker:

  • Speed: What takes 24-48 hours in a slow cooker or stockpot can be achieved in just 2-3 hours.
  • Nutrient Retention: The high pressure and shorter cooking time mean fewer nutrients are lost, preserving more of the beneficial minerals and collagen.
  • Intensity of Flavour: The pressure-cooker environment can also contribute to a richer, more deeply concentrated flavour.

Here's how to adapt the previous recipe for a pressure cooker:

Fast Method:

Preparing the Bones

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C. Roast the pork bones and trotters until they are golden-brown to enhance flavour, just as in the slow-cooked method.

Cooking the Jelly

  • Place the roasted bones in the pressure cooker.
  • Add filtered water, apple cider vinegar, aromatic herbs, and vegetables. Ensure that you do not exceed the maximum fill line for your particular pressure cooker model.

Pressure Cooking

  • Seal the pressure cooker and set it to high pressure.
  • Cook for 2-3 hours. This is the equivalent of 24-48 hours of slow simmering.


  • Allow the pressure to release naturally; this may take an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Open the cooker, skim off any fat or foam, and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  • Cool the liquid, then transfer it to storage jars or containers. As it cools in the fridge, the broth will assume a jelly-like consistency.

Optional: Reducing for Concentration

If you wish for a more concentrated jelly, you can return the strained liquid to the pressure cooker (without sealing it) and simmer until it reaches your desired consistency. Then proceed with cooling and storing.

Shop for Ingredients

Pork & Trotter Jelly Kit

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Rare Breed Pigs Trotters

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Ways to Use Pork Bone and Trotter Jelly in Cooking:

  • Soup and Stew Thickener: Melt some jelly into your soups and stews as they simmer, enriching both texture and taste.
  • Sauce Base: Use the jelly as a foundation for velvety gravies and sauces. Its complex flavour can add a unique twist to even the simplest of recipes.
  • Rice and Risottos: Stir in a spoonful while your rice or risotto is cooking to introduce a depth of flavour and a luxurious texture.
  • Braising Liquid: When braising meats, use the jelly as a component of your braising liquid for added richness.
  • Glaze: Reduce the jelly with a touch of honey or maple syrup for a luscious glaze perfect for roasts.
  • Marinades: Combine the jelly with your choice of spices and herbs to marinate meats, enriching them with moisture and flavour.
  • Cooking Vegetables: A small dollop melted into a pan can transform sautéed or steamed vegetables into a dish of far greater complexity.
  • Incorporate into Stuffing: For roasts or stuffed vegetables, integrate some jelly into the stuffing mixture to keep it moist and full of flavour.
  • Homemade Pasta: For those who dabble in making pasta from scratch, adding a bit of pork jelly into the dough can produce marvellously tender results.
  • Baking: Pork jelly can also find its way into savoury pastries and pies, offering moisture and a burst of flavour.
  • Bone Broth Beverage: For the purists, the jelly can be diluted with hot water, seasoned to taste, and consumed as a nutritious and comforting drink.
  • Pet Food Additive: Your pets could also benefit from a spoonful of this nutritious jelly mixed into their food, provided it is free from harmful ingredients like onions or excessive salt.

Consuming a well-prepared jelly from pork bones and trotters is not merely a gastronomic experience; it can also offer several nutritional and health benefits.

Key Nutrients:

  • Collagen: Collagen transforms into gelatine when cooked and is the reason your jelly sets. It's a protein vital for skin elasticity and joint health.
  • Amino Acids: Particularly, glycine and proline, which are essential for various bodily functions including cellular repair and immune system support.
  • Minerals: Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus are drawn out from the bones into the broth. These are essential for bone health, among other functions.
  • Vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins like A and K may be present, depending on the diet of the animal from which the bones are sourced.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids, also contingent on the diet of the animal, are critical for brain health and inflammation management.
  • Chondroitin and Glucosamine: Found in the cartilage, these compounds are often taken as supplements for joint pain.

Health Benefits:

  • Joint Health: Collagen, chondroitin, and glucosamine are a trifecta of joint support, potentially offering relief from arthritis symptoms.
  • Skin, Hair, and Nails: Collagen is the scaffolding of our skin, and regular intake can promote elasticity and hydration.
  • Gut Health: The amino acid glycine can be beneficial for gut lining, potentially aiding in treating leaky gut syndrome and other digestive issues.
  • Immune Support: The rich array of nutrients, particularly amino acids, can bolster your immune system.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Weight Management: High in protein and low in calories, bone broth can be a useful addition to weight management regimens, offering satiety with fewer calories.
  • Enhanced Digestion: The gelatine in the broth can aid in the digestion of nutrients.
  • Mental Wellbeing: The amino acids and fatty acids present could contribute to better mental health by supporting neural functions and hormone balance.

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