Polish Jellied Pigs' Feet (Zimne Nogi or Studzienina)

Polish jellied pigs' feet

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Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Refrigerate: 12 hrs
Total: 14 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
468 Calories
29g Fat
3g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 468
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 188mg 63%
Sodium 1291mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 388mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Polish jellied pigs' feet recipe is known variously as zimne nogi (which literally means "cold legs"), studzienina, zimne stopy ("cold feet"), galareta z nóżek ("jelly legs").

Most Eastern Europeans come from an agrarian society, so nose-to-tail eating (now being espoused by modern gourmet chefs) is a way to survive the sometimes-difficult farming life.

This recipe demonstrates an attempt to emulate the aspic-covered gourmet dishes of the aristocracy or szlachta.

Jellied pigs' feet exist in most Eastern European cuisines and in other parts of the world, especially the United Kingdom where they are known as trotters.


For the Pigs' Feet:

  • 1 1/2 pounds split pigs' feet, cleaned

  • 1 cup store-bought soup greens

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 6 whole black peppercorns

  • 3 allspice berries, optional

  • 2 minced cloves garlic, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 pound lean pork

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened gelatin (dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water)

For Optional Garnishes:

  • Vinegar

  • Horseradish

  • Lemon wedges

  • Marinated mushrooms

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the pigs' feet and pat them dry with a paper towel.

  2. In a large pot, place pigs' feet and just enough water to barely cover them. Add peeled soup greens, bay leaf, peppercorns, allspice, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam.

  3. Add pork loin, again bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until feet meat is falling off the bones.

  4. Remove the meat from the water and debone it. Strain broth through gauze and place in a clean pot. Dice the cooked carrots from the soup greens and the meat into small pieces.

  5. Return diced meat and carrots to the broth along with marjoram and more crushed garlic and salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil and add dissolved gelatin, stirring until well incorporated.

  6. Cool slightly and pour into molds, small bowls or ramekins. Refrigerate overnight.

  7. When ready to serve, unmold onto a serving platter or individual plates. Garnish with greens or parsley, if desired, and serve with vinegar, horseradish, lemon, and marinated mushrooms to be used at the discretion of the diner.