Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Trotter gear


Recommended Posts

I just finished reading Fergus Henderson's sequel to Nose to Tail and my first bacth of trotter gear (which is also available directly at St. John, see: http://www.trottergear.com/) is resting in the fridge.

"Trotter gear" is simply made of pig trotters cooked in broth and madeira wine with aromatic vegetables and can be used in a variety of recipes, particularly for braising. Having this "trotter gear" at hand , just like keping stock and meat glace, open so much potential...

I am planning to keep a few bags of 'trotter gear' in the freezer for future use... particulaly for a few bean dishes and braises I have in mind.

I'm also guessing that this idea can be adapted to different style of cooking... it is so simple but feel like such a revelation to me... I just had to share my enthusiasm! :biggrin:

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an unsung potential to feet, pig trottrers have been a secret weapon of mine when making veal stock it adds more body and I find I don't have to reduce the stock as much to get the viscosity I like. Ditto for chicken feet I find they add richness to chicken stock that you just don't get otherwise. On top of all that feet are cheap so for a little you get so much in return (unctuous potential as Henderson puts it).

Link to post
Share on other sites
I just finished reading Fergus Henderson's sequel to Nose to Tail and my first bacth of trotter gear (which is also available directly at St. John, see: http://www.trottergear.com/) is resting in the fridge.

"Trotter gear" is simply made of pig trotters cooked in broth and madeira wine with aromatic vegetables and can be used in a variety of recipes, particularly for braising. Having this "trotter gear" at hand , just like keping stock and meat glace, open so much potential...

I am planning to keep a few bags of 'trotter gear' in the freezer for future use... particulaly for a few bean dishes and braises I have in mind.

I'm also guessing that this idea can be adapted to different style of cooking... it is so simple but feel like such a revelation to me... I just had to share my enthusiasm!  :biggrin:

So I am not quite sure from your post if you made this "gear" or purchased the ready-made product. Can you clarify this for me please.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
I just finished reading Fergus Henderson's sequel to Nose to Tail and my first bacth of trotter gear (which is also available directly at St. John, see: http://www.trottergear.com/) is resting in the fridge.

"Trotter gear" is simply made of pig trotters cooked in broth and madeira wine with aromatic vegetables and can be used in a variety of recipes, particularly for braising. ....

So I am not quite sure from your post if you made this "gear" or purchased the ready-made product. Can you clarify this for me please.

I don't believe they have opened up exports to Canada just yet!

But it shouldn't be too hard for you to have a go.

Blanch the pigs' trotters first, then cook long and slow in light chicken stock (rather than Cricklewood's veal) fortified with Madeira and some aromatic stock veg and herbs. After straining, tear whatever meat, fat and skin from the trotters and add to the gelling broth. Seal and store in the fridge.

Henderson expects this to be used (and reused, for example after braising rabbits prior to their deep frying, thereby picking up "more potential") in about a quarter of the "suggestions" in the book.

For those that haven't seen it, its not a book for veggies!

The author believes that a half pigs head (cooked entire) is the perfect romantic supper dish for two. Perhaps, but not for every couple!

Its a very "slim volume", with some maddening aspects, and could easily be repackaged into a volume physically even slimmer - but it does show his unusual and no mistake interesting thinking.

Personally, I find the stylistic combination of precision and vagueness to be a bit irritating.

Which is why I referred above to "suggestions" rather than recipes.

For example the pot roasted bacon with prunes.

This "serves 6".

And requires 22 Agen prunes, stone in.

OK, but why 22 prunes between 6 people? When the prunes are supposed *not* to break down (merely to "swell and retain their dignity" - thanks to their stones), wouldn't 24 have been more equitable for 6? (Or is there a social experiment subtext?)

And although the cooking time is specified (yes, braised in "trotter gear"), it might be thought surprising that the quantity of bacon is not specified at all, although the breed of pig is. (Remember BTW that when he specifies "smoked" bacon here, he's talking about cold-smoked and unsweetened, English-style.)

Similarly, when making "trotter gear", the quantity of Madeira is listed, while the chicken stock is vaguely 'to cover" - making the proportion a personal matter, rather than the author's own preference. A laudable liberal intent, but distinctly vague for anyone hoping to follow closely in a master's footsteps.

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Link to post
Share on other sites
dumb question.........

why in the hell would you boil pigs feet in chicken stock......

Not boiling, more extended poaching.

Three hours in "a gentle oven".

Why?

To produce an "unctuous, giving gastronomic tool" - an überstock.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always put a pig's foot in my stocks - makes a huge difference. A few months ago I was cooking a couple of pig's feet prior to grilling them. I simmered them,with aromatics, just in water for about an hour. When I tasted the broth I immediately realised that it was far too good to discard - more flavor and mouth feel than a simple white chicken stock. Since then I have been making it regularly and use it as a soup medium and in place of chicken stock in many dishes.

The best pigs' feet are in the Chinese markets where they are always fresh and available.

Ruth Friedman

Link to post
Share on other sites

Doug,

Thanks for answering my question and for giving us a peek into the vagaries of the book itself. The combination of vague and specific would likely drive me to distraction - like I needed much help! :wacko:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
I just finished reading Fergus Henderson's sequel to Nose to Tail and my first bacth of trotter gear (which is also available directly at St. John, see: http://www.trottergear.com/) is resting in the fridge.

"Trotter gear" is simply made of pig trotters cooked in broth and madeira wine with aromatic vegetables and can be used in a variety of recipes, particularly for braising. Having this "trotter gear" at hand , just like keping stock and meat glace, open so much potential...

I am planning to keep a few bags of 'trotter gear' in the freezer for future use... particulaly for a few bean dishes and braises I have in mind.

I'm also guessing that this idea can be adapted to different style of cooking... it is so simple but feel like such a revelation to me... I just had to share my enthusiasm!  :biggrin:

So I am not quite sure from your post if you made this "gear" or purchased the ready-made product. Can you clarify this for me please.

I am sorry for not answering your question earlier... I have been too busy celebrating to even get close to a computer over the last few days.

I made one batch of "trotter gear" and now have six pounds of trotter gear in the freezer waiting for my next braise or bean dish.

About a year ago I made the pig trotter recipe from the Bouchon cookbook. Not wanting to waste the cooking broth I made a bean dish the day after... and this was the best bean dish I ever ate! But since I don't eat pig trotters very often, I had little opportunity to recreate the dish. I guess I was too dumb to think about making trotters for the quality they can impart to other dishes instead of for the trotters themselves. Making a huge batch is great too because cleaning trotters is a messy thing that you don't want to do too often.

I realize it might be an old trick but it is still a revelation to the novice cook that i am.

As for the book itself, I think it is one of the greatest cookbook ever written... it is short and some might find the recipes a bit horific (e.g. the pig head) but the book remains very funny and I think better written than the first one. After all, why would we need cookbooks which includes the same recipes as all the cookbooks we already have.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Since I first posted, I made two dishes using trotter gear: lentils and sausage and a chicken stew.

I added way too much trotter in the lentils making them quite heavy... Note to myself: use only the cooking liquid next time!

The stew was quite nice and the chicken very very moist! However the sherry in the "trotter gear" did not mix so well with the other flavours in the stew. Note to myself: do not use any kind of wine in the next batch of trotter gear... and for that matter, keep the seasoning minimal...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...