Pigs'' Trotters on Toasted Sourdough with Crackling

Adam Byatt

Adam Byatt

15th December 2010

Pigs'' Trotters on Toasted Sourdough with Crackling

Pigs’ Trotters on Toasted Sourdough with Crackling

Ingredients

  • 4 shank pigs’ trotters (must be long with no tattoos and preferably not frozen)
  • 200g pork rind
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 4 Spanish onions
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 leek
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 smoked ham hock (about 1kg)
  • 2 litres brown Chicken stock (page x*x)

Method

To Serve
toasted sourdough bread
fried quails’ eggs
¼ quantity Sauce Gribiche (page x*x)
Preparation:
The day before serving, burn any hairs off the trotters using a blow torch.
Wash the trotters under cold running water, then immerse them in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak overnight. This process is necessary to remove any excess blood and impurities, and obviously the hair won’t cook away. I’m sure your butcher will cooperate in supplying trotters prepared to this stage.
Cut the pork rind into long, thin strips (again, your butcher will do this if you ask).
Sprinkle the strips with sea salt and leave overnight to remove all of the moisture and impurities.
The next day, preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3.
Cook the crackling.
Wash the excess salt off the pork rind and pat the rind dry with a cloth.
Place the strips on a heavy roasting tray, cover with another tray and roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until the skin is crackled and brittle.
Remove from the oven and drain away the excess fat, then set the crackling aside to serve later.
Leave the oven on at the same temperature.
Peel and roughly chop the carrots, garlic cloves and half of the onions.
Trim and roughly chop the celery and leek.
Peel and finely dice the remaining 2 onions and keep them separate.
Method
Heat half of the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a high heat and colour the roughly chopped vegetables with the spices. Once they are brown, stir in the honey and boil for 5 minutes to lightly caramelize. Now add the vinegar and boil for a further 2 minutes until reduced by half.
Drain the trotters and place on top of the vegetable mix with the ham hock. Pour in the stock, put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook for 5 hours. I advise basting the trotters from time to time, and turning them over at hourly intervals.
Remove the casserole from the oven and leave to cool, then lift out the trotters and ham hock and set aside. Tip the contents of the pan into a fine sieve set over a bowl and let the stock strain through. Chill the stock in the fridge so that the fat rises and sets on the top.
Carefully remove the meat and skin from the trotters, then dice both the meat and skin and place in a bowl. Separate the meat from the skin and bones of the hock, dice the meat and add to the bowl.
Skim the fat off the chilled stock, then transfer the stock to a pan and reduce by half over a high heat.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan until hot and fry the diced onions until caramelized (don’t season them as you want them to brown nicely). Mix with the diced meats, and stir in the reduced sauce. Season and keep warm until ready to serve.
Warm up the crackling under a hot grill, then serve alongside the trotter mix on warm toast, with the fried quails’ eggs on top and the sauce gribiche on the side.
Tip
The trotter mix can be kept in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 10 days; it also freezes well for up to 3 months.