Pieds de porc, crubeens or pigs’ trotters. I doesn’t matter what you call them , they are divinely delicious. Although many people shy away from trying them, once you have been bitten by the taste and texture, they can become a favourite. In my case however, as my wife has yet to be converted or convinced, I prepare my treat when she is away working. So as she departed abroad this morning, let’s get cooking!
Derek’s Crumby Trotters
If you buy your trotters fresh from your butcher, you’ll need to soak them in salt water for at least twelve hours. My preference is to buy them already salted, cut in half and vacuum packed from my supermarket. So whichever way, now we can get cooking. Quantities are for two trotters, so just multiply for more.
Rinse the trotters thoroughly and then wrap them very tightly with cotton wrapping. This is absolutely necessary to stop them falling apart while cooking. Although there is a special bandage like material for this, I find using old handkerchiefs and string the most effective. (Yes, clean handkerchiefs of course!) Now pop them into a pot of water with a chopped onion, two crushed garlic cloves, a few cloves, a chopped carrot, a chopped shallot and a few bay leaves and simmer gently for four to five hours.
Then remove from the water and allow to cool for at least an hour.
Unwrap, and if not already, cut into two longways. Dip each side of your trotter into beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Now fry gently in butter (or oil) until golden brown and reheated all the way through. Serve piping hot with French fries and a green salad and well, my choice is beer, but a good red makes a fine companion as well.
A knife and fork will serve you well if you are into exquisite table manners, but once hooked on the taste, you’ll be using your fingers in no time to get every last morsel. There are a lot of knuckles and bones to fight through but once you pull the trotter apart, you find it easy to find what the whole deal is about.