Pig Stomach (Hog Maw)

Folks, don’t judge before you read about it. Try to stay with me for this one.  I remember my Grandma Losch making this, usually when Uncle John had butchered a pig.  It’s called Pig Stomach, also known as Hog Maw. Now, don’t get all grossed out and wrinkle your nose, because the stomach is really only the vessel inside which is roasted a savory mixture of seasoned meat and vegetables that’s really quite tasty. You don’t really eat the stomach part. Think of it as a sausage casing. Check out what Wikipedia has to say about it here.

Now, I don’t actually have my grandma’s recipe for this, so I turned to my friend The Internet to find one. And I got really lucky! Here are a couple of sites that have good descriptions and recipes for this traditional Pennsylvania Dutch recipe:

Teri’s Kitchen – she has a great recipe for Pig’s Stomach that looks to be very close to what I remember.

AllRecipes has a version of it here.

Lastly, I found a nice story by Donna Godfrey about her grandmother’s list of food required to feed the many folks who would be involved in a Mennonite or Amish barn-raising. At the end of the story is her grandma’s recipe for Pig’s Stomach, which she called Dutch Goose.

I also searched for images and found a great set, taken by a fellow Central Pennsylvanian. Thanks to cthoyes for letting me borrow these photos so you can get an idea of what this looks like:

If you don’t happen to be butchering your own pig (and really, nowadays, who has time?), you need to track down a pig stomach.  There really is no substitute. Where I live, that probably means I would first have to find a butcher shop, because I don’t think they have this at Safeway in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  However, in regions where people would not look at you funny when you ask for this, you may be able to snag one at a grocery store with a good meat department. This fellow found one at a great grocery store in Central PA, Karns Market:

Pig Stomach, a.k.a. Hog Maw
Pig Stomach, a.k.a. Hog Maw

Then, you make the filling, which contains bulk ground sausage, potatoes, and other yummy-good things:

The Filling
The Filling

Then, you put the filling into the stomach – not YOUR stomach, silly, that comes later – the raw pig stomach. Think of it like stuffing a giant sausage casing:

Pig stomach, Ready to bake
Pig stomach, Ready to bake

Then you bake it and it gets all juicy and yummy good. For Realz.

Just slice 'n' eat!
Just slice 'n' eat!

The thing about this dish is that, even though I remember my grandma making it, I myself have never made it and I sure don’t know anyone my age who has made it.  It’s definitely a regional thing and may in many ways be a generational thing. My children may never eat this.  If nothing else, I have tried to capture it here so that you know a little bit about where I come from, a little piece of the history of rural Central Pennsylvania.

If you have memories of eating – or making – this dish, I would appreciate reading about it. Please leave a comment below.

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