“Could you do anything with trotters? I’ve got a load in the freezer,” The Benevolent Farmer Brown shouts across the allotment.
“Sure”, I reply, oozing with satisfaction at both my thrift and my culinary knowledge. “Thanks very much”.
And so I amble home from the allotment, which, you’ll recall, is a patch on the farm of said trotter-hoarding Mr Brown, carrying my rake, a bag full of trotters and a host of ideas.
A trotter glut. How exciting. (If a little niche).
This is my first foray into eating feet so I spend an evening flicking through Fergus Henderson and Hugh F-W books, making grand plans of what to do with my glut. I read about a legendary Pierre Koffman recipe that involves stuffing the trotter with chicken mousse and morels. Google reveals all sorts of convoluted Michelin-starred chefs’ recipes that seem to add so much fuss and gubbins to the trotter that one would barely know it was a trotter on the plate. For shame, great chefs of yore, why must you over complicate?
I opt for something all together more rustic and feel decidedly smug about my ingredient-led, showcase-the-trotter dish: I will braise and/or roast the trotters, pick the meat, press it maybe, probably breadcrumb it and fry or deep-fry it. A bit vague, granted, but surely delicious, right?
I take it back. These folks with all these Michelin stars have got trotter recipes spot on. There has to be gubbins, fuss and complexity in every pig trotter dish because THERE’S NOTHING TO EAT ON A PIG’S TROTTER.
Nothing I tell you.
What I picked off all those trotters after 3 hours in the oven amounts to barely 50g of meat. Massive fail.
Needless to say I do not attempt to pané this morsel of slightly chewy meat. I return instead, contrite, to my books and pay more attention to the marvellous ways in which some magnificent chefs have found ways to make trotters in any way edible:
Trotters with Madeira, worcestershire sauce on very small pieces of toast.
Koffman’s Pied de Cochon Aux Morilles.
Trotters in milk from Spain.
I’m off back to the veg patch. I think the impending gluts of peas and lettuce are more my style. It is with great relief that I can promise normal service will be resumed next week…