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Hehe! What state are they in? Do they need a wash? (A shave?).
They need long, slow cooking to release all the gelatin. I'd recommend putting at least the same amount of lean meat as trotter in some kind of strongly flavoured stew - not because trotters taste nasty but because they seem to soak up flavourings and can leave your stew/sauce bland.
Eat them Chinese style - pop a chunk in your mouth and spit out the bits of bone, rather than trying to use a knife and fork to get the bones out.
I saw some at my local grocery store and I'm tempted to get some next time. I imagine they would make delicious super gelatinous broth. You could just make broth and then freeze it and use it when cooking veggies and making sauces. Or maybe use it like a ham hock and boil it with some greens.
The feet are split, which will save some preptime, no hacking as you wrote in your blog. I figured they would make a nice broth, just wondering about flavors. I bought some neck bones too. Maybe I can throw them in all together.
I just made some oxtail soup last week. I don't think they'd work like ham hocks, they're not smoked or anything and there doesn't look like they have a lot of meat. Mostly skin, fat, cartilage and bone.
I use them to make a stock that I then cook less gelatinous meat in - e.g. chicken casserole. The richly gelatinous stock really does wonders for the chicken.
I use two or three split feet, cover with water and cook for 24 / 36 hours in the slow cooker with the juice of a lemon. The masses of little bones and cartilage make a stunning stock which will jell really well in the fridge.
Also, the stock makes ace soups - just cook a coupe of onions and some veg in the resulting stock, puree, add some thick cream and season. When I do this I like to use one veg only (apart from the onions and perhaps garlic!) to make a cream of (name your veg) soup.
Thanks Breadsauce. I started then in my crockpot yesterday afternoon and started straining the stock this morning. There are a bazillion little bones! I also threw in some neck bones and thought I might make a cabbage soup with some of the broth and save some in the freezer. Anyway what do you do with the skin?
If I've cooked it long enough, I reckon the skin has given up all of the goodness there so I chuck it - out, usually, for any little birds that might want it. I have never eaten the skin from the feet - yet!
Okay. I wasn't sure I wanted to eat it. I think next time I will cook fewer of them for a longer period. I had 5 halves and put them all in the pot. Some of the stock had bubbled out from under the lid and made a mess on the countertop. I now have my strained stock cooling and some nice bits of meat from the neckbone waiting to be turned into soup. Not sure if I will make it today or wait until Monday. DH promised to take me out to eat today and tomorrow is Easter dinner at my daughter's. Thanks again.
The usual way to eat them in México is in "escabeche".
First the quick version, then the way I usually make them
You put the washed pig's feet in a pressure cooker with onion and garlic and salt to taste(of course you have to put some water in it also). Cook them for 15 minutes(time is after the pressure has risen)
You put the hot pig's feet in a non reactive container (usually glass) and pour over them a big can of "Chiles en escabeche" (You know them as pickled jalapenos)
Long version: You cook the pig's feet in pan with enough water to cover them with onion, garlic and salt (this takes about 2 hours of simmering)(That's why I usually cook them in the pressure cooker but make the "escabeche" myself)
You prepare the "escabeche" yourself: YouTube - How to make pickled Jalapenos
(This recipe is very close to what I use except I don't add sugar and I put in 1-3 cloves and maybe 4-5 whole allspice berries; my water/vinegar proportion is around 60/40 and of course I use olive oil)(Everybody has his own recipe; you have to experiment to see how you like it)
Again when feet are cooked you pour your "escabeche" over the hot feet in a nonreactive container and leave for at least 1 day, better 3 days, before eating. I usually do this in the fridge. Then, try to bring to room temperature before eating, specially if you included the collagen rich broth where the feet cooked(If you don´t, you'll be eating something that looks like "Jello")(Some people like it that way; I don't). I usually use only the feet without the broth. The broth... its usually used for cooking something else, for example in bean soup; but I don't eat that now
Not the same thing but almost the same. "Cueritos" that is pig skins. Not the fried, dry ones (pork rinds) but fresh skins cut and cooked exactly the same way as feet but for less time (10 minutes pressure cooker). The rest is as described up there. Just finished cooking them, they will be ready tomorrow, better yet in 3 days... they almost never last 3 days. They fly...
"WHAT? The skin is the best part!!!
The broth will be used for cooking something else that benefits from being collagenous.
My Puerto Rican friends have an amazing family recipe for pigs feet. They cook them in a red tomato like sauce and they are like crack to me. I need to get it from them and share it on this site. They say, though, that pigs feet can be tricky to cook and you can easily mess them up. Good luck with whatever you do.