Chef's Recipes

Pig's tails with corn and crab salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for pig's tails with corn and crab salad by Colin Fassnidge.

By Colin Fassnidge
  • 2 hrs preparation
  • 4 hrs 20 mins cooking plus cooling, setting
  • Serves 6
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Colin Fassnidge: pig's tails with corn and crab salad recipe


  • 50 gm plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150 gm fine fresh breadcrumbs
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
Ginger jelly
  • 1 gm sliced ginger (2cm piece)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 180 ml Bundaberg ginger beer (¾ cup)
  • 1¼ leaves titanium-strength gelatine, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
Braised pig's tails
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100 ml Port
  • 6 pig's tails (650gm)
  • 600 ml chicken stock
Apple sauce
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (360 gm)
  • 20 gm butter
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
Corn and crab salad
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • Kernels cut from 1 corn cob
  • ¼ cup basil
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, dry-roasted
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • ¾ tsp lemon juice
  • 500 gm cooked crabmeat
  • ¼ cup baby basil leaves


  • 1
    For ginger jelly, place ginger, kaffir lime leaf and ginger beer in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then set aside to infuse (4-5 minutes). Pulse in a blender, push through a fine sieve into a clean pan, then squeeze excess water from gelatine and add to hot ginger mix. Pour into a container roughly 9cm x 14cm and refrigerate to set (3-4 hours).
  • 2
    For braised pig's tails, preheat oven to 150C and place oil in a medium casserole over medium heat. Add vegetables, bay leaf and garlic and stir until softened but not coloured (5 minutes). Add Port, bring to the boil, then add pig's tails and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover with baking paper and foil and braise in oven until soft (4 hours). Let the tails cool a little, then drain off stock (reserve for another use). Line a small bar tin (3.5cm x 25cm is ideal) with plastic wrap, then strip the meat and skin from the bones and press into the tin evenly. Place a board and weight on top and refrigerate until set firm (4 hours or overnight).
  • 3
    For apple sauce, combine apple in a saucepan with butter, vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp water and cook covered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft (20 minutes), then process in a blender until smooth. Makes 280ml.
  • 4
    Remove the tail meat from the tin when set and slice into 6 cubes. Place flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dip the cubes in flour, then egg, then crumbs, then repeat with egg and crumbs, shaking off excess in between. Set aside.
  • 5
    Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry tails in 2 batches, turning frequently to colour evenly, until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, for corn and crab salad, heat oil in a frying pan over high heat, add corn, season, cover and cook without it popping until soft to bite (2 minutes). Set aside to cool. Pulse basil and coriander seeds in a small blender, then slowly add the oil. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing firmly to extract all oil, then add lemon juice and season to taste. Combine dressing in a bowl with crab and reserved corn, season, arrange on a plate and garnish with baby basil leaves.
  • 7
    To serve, place pig tail portions on top of salad, put a small dollop of apple sauce on top and a few spoons of ginger jelly around the dish.