I’ve had the trotters (and heads!) of our pigs in the freezer for a while now, waiting for the opportunity to cook something nice with them. I came across this recipe for Stewed Pork Trotters in Sweet Vinegar, and knew I had to give it a go:
(that’s Shu Han’s photo, not mine!)
The first step was to blanch the trotters (boil them) for about 15 minutes and clean them up a bit:
I didn’t have the Chinese black vinegar specified by the recipe, but a quick bit of web searching told me that apple cider vinegar would be a good substitute. And apple goes well with pork, right? I left out the eggs as well – they’re really only there to round out the meal, they don’t contribute anything to the actual pork.
Here’s how mine turned out (yeah, not quite like the picture above – I reduced the sauce a lot more, and my trotters weren’t cut up to begin with):
So how was it?
The first thing that struck me was that there’s something mildly weird about eating a meal where you’re spitting out the occasional toenail. Other than that, it was delicious!
I have to say though, that there’s bugger-all meat on trotters. It’s pretty much all bone, cartilage, fat and skin. It’s got a lot of flavour, but there’s not much you can actually chew on. No wonder they add the eggs to the recipe above. It was deliciously velvety gloopy, and the little bits of leftover sauce set into a solid jelly. There’s truth in the old saying, “something gelatinous is a foot”!
For the rest of the trotters, I think I’ll try making some of Heston Blumenthal’s Trotter Gear to use as a flavour enhancer for other recipes.
Now, does anyone have any ideas for two pigs heads? The cheeks have already been removed (I’m going to try guanciale with them).