From The Joy of Cooking: Chitterlings, also known as "Chitlins," the small intestine of a hog, are most popular in the South or in places where authentic soul food is on the menu. Chitterlings are also the base for andouillette, a tripe and chitterling sausage very popular in France. To be specific, chitterlings are the small intestines of a young pig, which are emptied while still warm, turned inside out, and thououghly cleaned. The mucous covering is scraped away and completely removed. Chitterlings are very strong in both flavor and odor.
Basically Chitlins are the lutefisk of soul food. They smell like so strongly of pig poo I have to cook them outside of the house. Like Lutefisk chitlins are treasured by its fans. If your food doesn't scare you once in a while you aren't eating right.
Half the challenge of making Chitlins is finding good quality product in a reasonable sized package. Aunt Bessie's Pork Chitterlings are the best quality chitlins I have found. I found them at Coopers grocery in Chaska MN and find it funny that they are imported from Denmark.
Unlike the chitlins in a big frozen bucket from cub these needed little to no cleaning of the mucous coating.
When completely filled with water each piece held about 750ml of water.
After turning each one inside out to rinse and clean it I cut it open for the first simmer of one hour. To help with the smell I added three onions cut up.
The super strong pig poop smell forced a move to the garage. The second simmer is in new water with three new onions and for three more hours.
After four hours of simmering in two sets of water they are cut into 1 1/5 inch pieces to be sauted in ghee and olive oil.
Ghee is clarified butter that has been cooked a little longer and has a slightly nutty flavor. The liquid is extra virgin olive oil.
The chitlins were sauteed until light brown. I did this first batch a little hot and a little too long. They were still great and just like the last time I made chitlins they gave me a weird sense of euphoria that spread to slowly to each limb. Hot sauce is a must and I regret not having greens available as a side dish.
I sauteed another set of the cooked chitlins tonight with ghee and olive oil but more slowly and carefully. Wow. The experience is like perfectly cooked pork flavored squid. Not rubbery but rather like al dente pasta with a little crisp browning on the outside.
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