Pigs’ trotters have gone from poor man’s favorite to gourmet dish of the moment. Supermarkets say they are flying off the shelves, and one restaurant sold out of nearly a month’s supply in a week when it put them on the menu . The increase in their popularity has been linked to the recession, as they are a cheaper cut of meat. Pierre Koffmann’s “pop-up” restaurant at Selfridges has witnessed guests munch through 500+ trotters in less than a week and as more foodies are now buying and advocating the humble trotter their popularity is on the up. They have also been associated with anti-aging properties at the Hakata Tonton restaurant in New York, where 33 out of the 39 dishes contain pigs’ feet. Its owner, Himi Okajima argues that that they are rich in collagen, the protein responsible for skin and muscle tone, more recognisable to beauty addicts in the form of face creams and fillers .
Anything that is tasty, cheap and keeps us young is worth a go… the S&H team had get involved to see what all the fuss was about! Here is what we did…
- First debone the pigs’ trotter, being careful not to pierce the skin.
- Fry the Mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions) in an sauté pan to soften, add the pigs trotter, then add a healthy dose of port both to the pan and to your tummy…heat the pan until the contents are bubbling away, add some beef or veal stock and then cover and put in the oven for about an hour and a half to two hours.
- While it is cooking, pan fry shallots, dried morels and sweetbreads with some butter. Once cooked set aside to cool.
- For the mousse filling, blitz a chicken breast with a tiny bit of egg white, and pass through a fine sieve. Then mix in some double cream until it becomes smooth. Carefully fold in the morels and sweetbreads keeping the mixture airy.
- Once the trotter has cooked enough so you can pass the point of a knife easily through the skin, remove and allow to cool for 5 mins. Turn the pigs’ trotter over and fill the cavity with the mousse mixture and wrap tightly in tin foil forming it to its original shape. Place in a steamer for about 20mins.
- Serve with some of the sticky port sauce from the sauté pan and a big pile of creamy mash potatoes!