Pig's Trotters Stuffed with Veal and Wild Mushrooms

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
Pigs’ trotters 8 ea.
Salt 2 Tbsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground 1 tsp.
For the veal  
Plum tomatoes 10 ea.
Olive oil, extra virgin ¼ cup
Cayenne pepper 1 tsp.
Green peppers, diced ½ cup
Red peppers, diced ½ cup
Red onions, finely diced 2 cups
Veal snout, washed, blanched, and minced, or veal stewing meat, minced 1 cup
Salt 1 tsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground 1 pinch
Red pepper 1 pinch
For the pig’s trotters  
Vegetable oil 1 ½ cups
Flour, all-purpose, for dusting ½ cup
Onions, minced 1 1/3 cups
Carrots, minced 1/3 cup
Plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped 3 cups
Bouquet garni (celery stalk, halved leek, thyme sprigs -3-, and bay leaf) 1 ea.
Ham bone, small 1 ea.
Red pepper, crushed ½ tsp.
Verjus 2/3 cup
Wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, morels, oyster, or porcinis 13 ½ oz.
Olive oil, extra virgin 2 Tbsp.
Garlic cloves, minced 4 ea.
Salt, or more as needed ½ tsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground, or more 1 pinch
Pork caul, cut into 8 pieces, each about 12 by 12 inches square 1 lb. 6 oz.

Method

  1. Split open the pig’s trotters. Season with the salt and pepper and refrigerate, covered, in a baking pan or large casserole overnight.
  2. Cook the veal. First cut each tomato in half crosswise and remove the seed sections. Place the cut side of each half against the coarsest sedton of a box grater, and grate the pulp while pressing with your palm to flatten the skin. Discard the skin. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the cayenne epper, the diced peppers, and the onions. Cook, stirring constantly, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the grated tomatoes and stir together. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down a little and the mixture is fragrant. Season the veal with the salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Add the veal to the mixture and cook, stirring often, until the meat is cooked throughand the mixture is fragrant, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  3. Prepare the pig’s trotters. Heat about ¼ inch of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Dust the pig’s trotters lightly with flour and brown in the hot oil on both sides, about 4 minutes each side, working in two batches of 4 each. Remove from the heat and transfer them to a clean sheet pan. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil remaining in the Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bouquet garni, ham bone, and red pepper and stir together. Add the pig’s trotters and verjus and enough water to cover the pig’s feet (about 5 quarts) and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover partially and simmer for 2 hours, until the trotters are very tender. Carefully remove the trotters from the pot and set aside to cool on a sheet pan or cutting board.
  4. Clean the wild mushrooms while the trotters are cooking. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and when hot, add the mushrooms and garlic. Sauté, stirring or shaking the pan, until lightly colored and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with the salt and a pinch of pepper and set aside to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to fit the 8 reassembled pig’s trotters in a single layer (10- by 15- by 3-inches deep). While the trotters are still hot, work quickly to remove the skin from the bones, slipping it off and separating each trotter into two halves, leaving the tips of the hooves intact. Stuff each half of the boned foot with a scant ¼ cup of the veal mixture, then place the halves together to make a whole foot. Transfer to the center of a sheet of caul, wrap each trotter up like a big cannelloni, and place in the baking dish. Bake for about 8 minutes, so that they shed excess fat. Use a spoon to remove the fat.
  6. Add the bones back to the pan with the juices and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for a couple of minutes, then strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl, then return to the pan. Add the mushrooms, season to taste with salt and pepper if needed, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the sauce over the trotters in the baking pan. Serve family style, or serve each trotter whole in a shallow bowl. Top with about 1/3 cup of mushrooms and ½ cup of tomato sauce.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Nando Jubany, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at General Session II on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006.

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