Saturday, November 21, 2009

Recipe: Braised pig trotters

Sometimes, I get a craving for pigs trotter or if you want to sound fancy, pied de cochon. Ooh la la. My mom's stewed pigs feet gives that warm tingly feeling in my stomach. In the South, you'll often see it pickled. In Asian recipes, they tend to be stewed in a dark sauce. To many, pigs feet is an enigma. Is there meat under that slab of skin? Is it even any good? How do you cook it? Pigs feet has a lot of skin, some meat and the substantial portion is connective tissue. It is rich in collagen and protein and apparently is good for your skin. It also has many bones from the ankle portion of the feet. The whole feet is tough but when cooked for a long time, it transforms into a tender and gelatinous goodness. You'll like it if you like eating skin, tendon, cartilage and gnawing on bones. Yes, it's not for everyone, and my cardiologist is going to frown after he recently tested my cholesterol. But apparently it has less fat per pound than spareribs.

They have packaged pigs trotters at my neighborhood Ralph's and the pack cost about 2 bucks. Definitely a good option for these recessionary times. It'd be good if you can get your butcher to chop it into smaller pieces. I thought I could do it myself with a cleaver, but apparently you need sheer strength as well.

The recipe is simple. Just brown the pork a little with ginger and garlic. You can use sesame or canola oil but I just spray a little non stick cooking spray. Next, throw in all the liquids and let everything simmer on medium low heat.

The trotter is rather tough because of the abundance of gelatin and cartilage. As such, it has to be stew for a couple hours so that it can be rendered.

The final product is heavenly. That layer of skin is coated with the thick soy-vinegar combination. Under the skin lies the fatty and juicy pieces of gelatinous connective tissue that melts in your mouth. The soy stained egg is perfectly cooked and has a salty flavor. Eat this dish with rice which sops up all the thick, sweet sauce. If you are still not feeling the trotter and it still scares you, swap it out for pork belly.

Braised Pig Trotter and Egg
1 1/2 lb pig trotters, cleaned and cut into 3 inch pieces
1/2 lb ginger, smashed
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Non stick cooking spray
1 cup black vinegar
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp nouc nam/fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 cups water
5 hard boiled eggs, peeled

Spray saucepan lightly with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add ginger and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add pig trotters and brown for another 10 minutes.

Add vinegar, soy sauces, water, sugar and fish sauce. Simmer the trotters for 1 hour over medium low heat. Add eggs and continue simmering for another 1 hour. Add additional sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and/or water to taste.


Daily Gluttony said...

ohmahgawd, i love this stuff. gotta make. thanks for the recipe!!!

stuffycheaks said...

You're welcome! I had one of the best bites of my leftovers yesterday; the bone that had marrow ;-)