Croquetas de Manos de Cerdo

Deep-Fried Sticky Pork Croquettes

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • 30

    Tapas

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

TO THE SOUTH OF MADRID, IN A TOWN CALLED ARANJUEZ, SITS THE OLD SUMMER PALACE OF THE KINGS. OPPOSITE THE PALACE IS CASA JOSÉ, A FAMILY RESTAURANT IN A CENTURIES-OLD HOUSE. THE CHEF, FERNANDO DEL CERRO, SHOWED ME AROUND THE MARKET GARDENS ON THE FLATS OF THE RÍO TAJO, WHERE HE BUYS THE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES FOR HIS KITCHEN. LIKE FERGUS HENDERSON IN LONDON OR DAN BARBER IN NEW YORK, HE CHAMPIONS PRODUCE AND TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES. MANY OF THE DISHES HE COOKED THAT DAY COULD BE MADE ONLY IN ARANJUEZ, BECAUSE THE PRODUCE THEY USE — LIKE THE ARANJUEZ STRAWBERRIES, WHICH ARE TOO DELICATE TO TRANSPORT — ARE GROWN NOWHERE ELSE. THIS RECIPE IS INSPIRED BY ONE OF HIS DISHES — STICKY CROQUETTES MADE FROM PORK TROTTERS, MIXED WITH TINY CAPERS, ROLLED IN BREADCRUMBS AND DEEP-FRIED.

Ingredients

  • 4 pig’s trotters
  • 1 brown onion
  • 100 g ( oz/1 bunch) parsley, leaves finely chopped, stalks reserved
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tiny capers in salt, rinsed and drained
  • ½ white salad onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • seasoned plain (all-purpose) flour, to coat
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) panko breadcrumbs (see glossary)
  • fine sea salt, to sprinkle

Method

Place the trotters in a very large stockpot with the brown onion, parsley stalks, garlic bulb and the vinegar. Cover with 8 litres (280 fl oz) water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 3½ hours. Drain the trotters, reserving the whole garlic bulb. Leave the trotters until cool enough to handle, then remove the skin, fat and meat, discarding the bone and cartilage. Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins.

Finely chop the trotter skin, fat and meat and place in a large bowl. Add the garlic cloves, chopped parsley, capers, salad onion, sea salt flakes and black pepper and mix well.

Moisten a work surface with water, then place a large piece of plastic wrap on the work surface (the water will stop the plastic moving). Place half the trotter mixture on the plastic wrap and form into a sausage shape, then roll up to form a log. Twist both ends of the plastic and roll the mixture back and forth over your work surface until you have a tight sausage approximately 3 cm ( inches) in diameter. Repeat with another piece of plastic wrap and the remaining mixture, then place the rolls on a tray and refrigerate overnight.

Unwrap the rolls, then cut them into slices 1 cm (½ inch) thick using a very sharp knife.

Fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan one-third full of oil and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds.

Dust the slices in flour, then dip in the beaten egg, allowing the excess to drain off. Roll in the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.