Grilled Pigs’ Trotters (Pieds Panés)

Many people turn their noses up at the very thought of eating pigs’ trotters. Little do they realise that they are missing out on one of the most delicious parts of the animal. Trotters have a savoury, gelatinous texture, set off admirably here by the mustard and the crisp breadcrumb coating.

Ingredients

  • 4 pigs’ trotters, preferably brined for 4 days
  • 300 ml/½ pint dry white wine
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 strips of lemon zest
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • salt
  • Dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • fine soft breadcrumbs

Method

Trim the toenails from the trotters, and singe off all the hairs. Put the trotters into a flameproof casserole with the remaining ingredients, except the mustard, eggs and breadcrumbs. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface, then cover and cook in a preheated oven, 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3, for 2 hours, until tender. Leave to cool.

Take the trotters out of the casserole and split in half lengthways. Pull out any obvious bones near the surface. Spread the cut surfaces with the mustard, then dip each piece into the egg and roll it in soft breadcrumbs. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Grill, turning once or twice, for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve with Cucumber Pickle, or a nasturtium mayonnaise (see the introduction to mayonnaise).

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