Pigs Trotters - Hind vs Front

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by keith grima, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. keith grima

    keith grima

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    Hi Guys

    I am will be attempting a recipe by Pierre Koffman, the one where he stuffs pigs trotters with chicken mouse and sweetbreads.

    If any one has every tried it, do you think I can manage it with front legs. For some reason I could not get any hind legs and I know the recipe specifies hind and not front. I will still be attempting it with the ones I managed to buy(front).

    Just hoping that they wont shrink to much.
     
  2. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    How did you get on with this? I am also working with fronts because my butcher cannot supply hinds that have not been used to hang the animal up (i.e. massive holes in them!).
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  3. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    I thought the big thing here was that you have to have the whole shin, and they are usually cut much shorter. As Nosey says, how did you get on with this?
     
  4. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    The ones I am currently soaking have been cut though the ankle joint, so there is not much length left to bone out. It is very frustrating to make this dish, and once I have done it, I will not try it again because it is clear that Marco and Pierre has access to bespoke butchery. I bet they were taking the entire leg, cutting the feet where they needed themselves, and using the ham for something else. Also, they had a butcher who hung using ropes rather than hooks.

    You can see the joints Koffmann had here:

    These are hinds cut through the lower shin. I cannot get that joint at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  5. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    OK, So I have had Attempt #3 at this. I am now giving up. This dish cannot be done with standard butchery. The problems are manifold. First of all, you need enough shin on the trotter to be worth stuffing. This calls for a hind trotter that is cut just below the knee. To get this in a hind trotter, you need to have a beast that was hung from the knee tendons rather than the Achilles. This is not standard practice, and you would need to be standing in Smithfield Market in London with an order for 36 feet (note number divisible by two) to make this viable.

    The other problem is nicks in the skin. If the trotter has the slightest blemish it will open up like Jenna Jameson's mouth at party time. This will cause the stuffing to leach out. I have boned and cooked six trotters now, and all of them them have opened up on very small nicks that have nothing to do with my knife skills and everything to do with post-mortem handling and in-vivo kick boxing.

    As to the oven timing and temperature, this is suspect. Marco calls for 220˚C for 3h with 250ml wine reduced to 150, and 750ml veal stock. I had one batch dry out on that protocol. I suggest constantly monitoring this cook, and adding wine/stock as needed.

    As to my eye-wateringly expensive filling for my non-trotters, I have this in the oven in a bain marie wrapped in dry cured smoked bacon to make a terrine. If anyone can explain to me why two calf pancreas cost £40 when NOBODY is eating them, then I am all ears.

    To say that I am annoyed that I ultimately could not make this is an understatement, but I need to move on and try stuff that uses more modern ingredients. This is not 1985.

    Tomorrow I am making a duck rag ravioli starter followed by roast pigeons with redcurrants. No more trotters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2017
  6. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    What a depressing story! I'm right with you on the pancreas issue, incidentally: many US readers will know that since gourmet types started getting cute about whole-animal cooking, the price of things like oxtail and shank has skyrocketed. I recently saw "beef osso buco" (read: beef shank) at Whole Foods for $17/lb. I think Thomas Keller has a recipe for stuffed pig feet/hocks that might work, though, and will post once I dig it up.
     
  7. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    NoseyUpdate. I lined a loaf tin with smoked, streaky bacon. I put the trotter stuffing in the tin, folded the bacon over the top and stuck it in a bain marie at 200˚C until the centre reached 73˚C (to cook the chicken mousse). Weighted and chilled. Turned out and served with toasted olive bread, redcurrants and a rocket salad. It was an epic save.
     
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