In Praise of Pickled Pig Lips: A savory colorful accent for Southern, and not-so-Southern foods.

Savory Pig Lips Pumpkin Pie.

Savory Pig Lips Pumpkin Pie.

As I usually do this time of year, I presented a new-to-the-world recipe, Savory Pig Lips-Pear Pumpkin Pie for Halloween Parts I and II, in a video format. My inspiration comes from a desire to improve the Pumpkin Pie experienced by replacing the soft, mushy and rather staid traditional pie with alternate recipes with more substance and color. My first effort was a resounding success and yielded two types of pumpkin pie. The first is an Enhanced Pumpkin Pie with pears, raisins, coconut and walnut and the second is the Savory Pig Lips-Pear Pumpkin Pie for Halloween which contains the diced pig lips, deer and wild hog meat, raisins, corn, onions and hot peppers along with the nine eggs that were needed to bind the materials together.

004The details of both recipes may be found on two YouTube videos “Savory Pig Lips Pear Pumpkin Pie for Halloween Part I” and “Savory Pig Lips  Pear Pumpkin Pie Part II.” As I explain in the first video I did two different preparations to illustrate the contrast in flavors between a normally sweet pumpkin pie and a savory pumpkin pie that has additional depths of flavors provided by fats, peppers, vinegar, meat, salt along with a hint of sweet given by the pears and raisins.  ( A Google of segments of either title will bring up the videos).  Things that immediately struck me about the pig lips are that they are all meat, rather than being half bone as in pickled pig feet; can be diced into chewy bits, can withstand cooking, release their flavors in a manner similar to eyeballs when crunched between the teeth and can provide a colorful accent along with additional flavors to many Southern dishes. I can see diced pig lips being easily incorporated into dishes like grits, yellow cornbread, almost any casserole, scrambled eggs, boiled turnips or greens of any sort or even meat loafs where the desire was to sharpen the flavor profile of the dish while adding some color.


The Enhanced Pumpkin Pie shows above sliced on the plate with the Savory Pig-Lips Pear Pumpkin Pie is rather drab in appearance compared to the Pig Lip Pie and also contrasts strongly in taste. I would serve the Savory Pig-Lips Pear Pumpkin Pie by the slice as a component of a hunter’s breakfast, similarly to how sausage pies are used along with coffee.  Without a crust and in a casserole dish, the filling makes a nutritious one-pot meal for the hunt camp or home which I serve with homemade pear wine using the same pears that were incorporated into the pie. The products freeze well and any extra pie fillings may be frozen during Halloween for later pie or casserole making at Thanksgiving or Christmas or baked and frozen whole, as I usually do.


The pickled pig lips are a regional product not presently often seen outside of the Cajun country of southern Louisiana. Pig Lips do well as bar snacks in Louisiana and would be delightful with many microbrewery’s heavier beers.  In place of the many Boar’s Head’s Taverns which were originally named for their namesake bar food, I can see a more modest microbrewery having a Pig Lips Bar as its tasting room.  Contact me about the name. Anyone may use it, I would just like to have credit for originating it and maybe a sample beer or two.


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