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trotters..what to make


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I scored three nice long meaty pig's trotters at work today and I'm wondering which way to go. A Fergus Henderson thing, where they wind up stuffed with garlicky mashed potatoes, or a Gordon Ramsay thing where they're boned out, the skin and meat cooked separately and then a kind of a ballotine results. I've done the hocks from one of keller's books. Ramsay suggests his cooks can bone one out in 12 seconds, but I have never done it. I'd believe that though, because at one point I could bone 40 lbs of chicken breasts in 10 minutes.

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yes, well, i'm expecting my economic incentive check from the gummint hopefully tomorrow. I've got other plans for it than driving to John Dewar's and spending it all on liver. i just looked over the ramsay recipe in a chef for all seasons and it doesn't say what to do with what's inside the trotter. and it calls for a gammon knuckle. I don't have one, don't know where to get one, but these trotters are almost a foot long and there's plenty of meat on them.

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It's interesting to see this topic surface today...

I just did my weekend's shopping at our local (very rural) market, rather than making my usual trip to the big town of Tallahassee.

I love our local market, because I always find interesting items there. Today they had great huge styrofoam trays of 20+ "split trotters". That's what the label said! They were huge pig's feet, split in half length-wise. I nearly bought a tray, but restrained myself because I had no idea what I might do with them!

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Cooked as in a stewy soup with garbanzos is the only way I've ever eaten them. The gelatin creates a very thick sauce that is unctuous going down your throat. It's a flavor you'll never forget.

I place them in a ziploc bag with lots of salt, leave them in the fridge for a few days, and rinse them off. Boiled until soft but not falling apart, add the garbanzos that were left soaking the night before & cooked in a separate pot (you never know how long dried garbanzos will take to cook).

Olive oil, diced smoked ham, sofrito, extra garlic, cilantro, recao, oregano, tomato sauce, s&p, quartered potatoes. You can also add a few chunks of calabaza.

Cook until potatoes are done and the sauce is thick. Mash a couple of potatoes if necessary.

Serve with a side bowl of white rice which you add as needed, and a few slices of avocado.

Absolutely delicious.

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Hmm, I think I have a pork shank in the freezer. Could someone give an anatomy lesson: is that the same as the trotter? And where does the hock fit into things?

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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The shank is same as the shin, the trotter is the foot. If the shank is whole you can slow braise it and then crisp it in a hot oven. If its slices like an ossobuco, you can either soup it, or do ossobucco.

As far as the trotter, while living in Japan, at my local yakitori they would first boil the trotter, then grill it. It was really good, and crazy to eat all at the same time. Really technical challenge is to bone it and stuff it. Otherwise i've always just braised it, pulled the bones and nails, dices everything, and fried it crspy, though you can leave it as one piece , bread it and treat it like a cutlet.

Edited by Timh (log)
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You should do the trotter recipe from MPW's White Heat: Trotters stuffed with chicken mousse, sweetbreads and dried morels.

When he bones out his trotters, he doesn't mention retaining the meat. I say grind it and use it in the farce with the chicken mousse.

He serves it with very loose potato puree and a cognac and madeira sauce.

I used to work at John Dewar's in Wellesley. You in Boston? Enjoy the trotters!

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I think I'm going with a Richard Corrigan recipe off the bbc website for crubeens. It has roasted beets and a beetroot relish with it. timh--do you shop at the earthy crunchy groceria in bellingham? there was a guy on this board named tim who did but I thought he was moving to the left coast a couple of years back. i'm still trying to figure out exactly what a gammon ham is. I ordered White Heat from the uk a few days ago after reading mpw's autobiography. I was always put off by the picture on the cover of the book until I realized mpw is a s##t-kicker at heart.

and the tim I knew lived in japan, so it has to be you. i'm over in framingham now.

Edited by McDuff (log)
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the trotters are all done, nicely rolled up and chilling in the fridge. I skipped the brining part of corrigan's method. It appears to me that what I got had this so called gammon ham attached to it, obviously not cured. There were two bones in this portion of the trotter so it must have been the part of the leg from the knee down. Ramsay's method calls for slitting the skin on the trotter and peeling it down and cooking this part separately from the gammon knuckle and I can see why. If these pig pieces weren't so long and had all that meat, I never would have gotten enough meat out of the feet to make the roll, because there really isn't any meat in there. I think if you cooked the skinned trotter carefully enough you would get nice pieces of skin to roll the stuffing in. I washed these, blanched them, rinsed them again, and started cooking in clean water with the aromatics and nutritives. They twisted up and contracted and I had to piece the skins together to make the roll. I also deviated in another respect and added a bit of white wine vinegar to the final meat pile, because it needed something tart. I'm going to save the braising liquid, get another package of trotters, and make Trotter Gear.

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the trotters are all done, nicely rolled up and chilling in the fridge. I skipped the brining part of corrigan's method. It appears to me that what I got had this so called gammon ham attached to it, obviously not cured. There were two bones in this portion of the trotter so it must have been the part of the leg from the knee down. Ramsay's method calls for slitting the skin on the trotter and peeling it down and cooking this part separately from the gammon knuckle and I can see why. If these pig pieces weren't so long and had all that meat, I never would have gotten enough meat out of the feet to make the roll, because there really isn't any meat in there. I think if you cooked the skinned trotter carefully enough you would get nice pieces of skin to roll the stuffing in. I washed these, blanched them, rinsed them again, and started cooking in clean water with the aromatics and nutritives. They twisted up and contracted and I had to piece the skins together to make the roll. I also deviated in another respect and added a bit of white wine vinegar to the final meat pile, because it needed something tart. I'm going to save the braising liquid, get another package of trotters, and make Trotter Gear.

Nice! Sounds delicious when I'm done drooling it's time to call my man Vinnie at John Dewar and have him put some aside for me.

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too late, but I made "head cheese" with mine!

Did this recipe for my presentation at IACP with Fergus Henderson in Seattle years ago.

used orange zest and vin santo with a touch of chili

here is the step by step

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  • 2 years later...

How much meat would one reasonably expect to be on a trotter? I ask because Mrs Sheepish thought she'd treat me to trotter cakes, a recipe from Pascal Aussignac's "Cuisinier Gascon". This calls for two slow cooked trotters. Check.

It goes on to say strip the meat from the trotters. Right, there's about 50g here. The recipe is for a 1kg cake having added another 250g of ingredients - flour, butter, eggs and Parmesan mainly. So what to chefs mean by trotter? Must be more than the foot. Up into the hock perhaps? Got some hocks to hand too, having butchered 4 pigs in the last month, so will probably dig those out to add to this, but would like to know what the "proper" method should be.

Ta

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Thanks for raising an interesting subject. Trotters are readily available to me but all I've done with them is jelly for pies.

This recipe for another version of pig's trotter cake makes an interesting comparison: he says hind feet for preference, but it doesn't sound like anything anywhere near even half a kilo of flesh.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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