Week 33: Pig Trotters

I will happily give Russ full credit for this week’s unusual ingredient. When he told me he was bringing pig feet home, I shuddered. Pig’s feet? Really? We’ll call them “trotters” here because that sounds a bit more classy and less like what they really are, but they really are pig feet. I tried out a couple of other names (ham hooves anyone?) but let’s just settle on trotters.

I feel that this post needs very little introduction or explanation. This is an unusual ingredient only in that people don’t often cook with it, not that it’s so strange you won’t have heard of it. You know what this is, so no history lesson or nutritional break-down this week. Let’s just get on with it and get this over with. Here’s what came out of the shopping bag:

Yeah. I gotta admit that it wasn’t easy to photograph these. They aren’t the prettiest or most appetizing looking thing, even among other ugly raw meats.

After boiling for several hours and removing a good chunk of skin, we were left with only about 1/3 pound of meat. Luckily, this is an unpopular and therefore cheap cut of meat, but it ended up producing so little meat that the original recipe in mind had to be adapted into an appetizer. If you want bigger portions (or want to avoid the trotters), we recommend using ham hock instead.

Look how pretty they turned out! Can you believe that’s pig trotters? They actually tasted good too, just make sure you eat them right away, otherwise they can get a little gelatinous (ew).

Trotter Medallions

  • 4 pig trotters
  • 15 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 oregano sprig
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1/8 C shallots, finely diced
  • 4 T stone ground mustard, divided
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C panko bread crumbs
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced

Fill a large stockpot with heavily salted water. Add pig trotters, garlic, bay leaves, oregano and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Cover pot and continue to boil for 3 hours.

While that is boiling, sautee shallots with salt and pepper until tender. Set aside.

Remove the stock pot from heat and allow to cool. Once meat is cool enough to handle, remove from pot and place on cutting board. Discard the broth. Pick out meat and place in a large bowl, discarding fat, tendons, cartilage and bone, but reserving the skin. Weigh remaining meat and then add half as much finely diced skin to it (we had 1/3 pound of meat, so added 1/6 pound of skin).

Add shallots, 1 T mustard and salt and pepper to meat and skin mixture, mixing well. Form into a log shape and cover with aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days.

When ready to cook, heat 2 T olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Slice the meat into 1/4 inch thick slices, coat the outside with mustard and roll in panko bread crumbs. Pan fry in skillet for 10-15 seconds per side (if you cook for too long, the meat will fall apart). Brush remaining olive oil onto baguette slices and lightly toast. Place fried trotter slices onto baguette slices and serve immediately.

12 Comments on Week 33: Pig Trotters

  1. Cookin' Canuck
    August 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm (11 years ago)

    You are a brave, brave woman! I will admit that I have not tried pig’s feet, but will try to muster the courage someday.

    • Stephanie
      August 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm (11 years ago)

      Haha thanks. It wasn’t really my choice, but I’m glad I tried it! It was actually good. And I believe in trying everything once.

  2. Marisa
    August 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm (11 years ago)

    I like the after photo much better than the before! I think you worked really well with this very unusual ingredient. I would totally try this! Afer all, how wrong can you go with pig?

    • Stephanie
      August 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm (11 years ago)

      I like it better too, Marisa! And I like your attitude πŸ™‚

  3. The Cilantropist
    August 15, 2010 at 8:50 pm (11 years ago)

    Wow, this is definitely an unusual ingredient and I give you props for trying it out and being fearless! Great recipe! πŸ˜‰

  4. Kathy Gori
    August 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm (11 years ago)

    this looks like something I’d love to give a try.I always hate it when a recipe I think is going to make a lot makes a little, but it looks delicious anyway.

  5. Brie
    August 16, 2010 at 7:22 am (11 years ago)

    whew, i have to agree that was very brave. i think i’d be more willing to try it if i didn’t prepare it and have a clear mental image of what it looked like before. props to you for making the dish look so inviting. glad your hard work paid off and it was tasty! πŸ™‚

  6. Foodie in Berlin
    August 16, 2010 at 11:51 am (11 years ago)

    I actually love pig trotters, not sure I would be feeling that hungry after preparing them and having the kitchen smell like boiled pigs trotters – so go you!

  7. Elizabeth
    August 17, 2010 at 6:47 am (11 years ago)

    I have yet to try these but stare at them ever so slightly every weekend when I go to the butcher shop. I’m still not convinced I would like them, but this does sound good and it is just pork….hmmm

  8. Rick
    August 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm (11 years ago)

    I had to dissect pigs once. I’m still afraid of it.

  9. Danica
    August 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm (11 years ago)

    HA! I remember dissecting pigs for biology class! That was messed UP. And gross-looking. Fortunately for me we did it in teams and I didn’t have to look or touch anything.

    Steph you BROUGHT IT. You are officially a Bad-Ass in my eyes. I have never even touched a pig’s foot I think. Holy hot damn.


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