According to my current bible Beyond Nose to Tail: A Kind of British Cooking Part II by Fergus Henderson of St Johns, "No fridge should be without its jar of Trotter Gear". I acquired four pigs trotters from my butchers, Meads Village Butchers, in Meads, Eastbourne. They very kindly gave me the trotters for free – partly because as I was also buying a whole salted ox tongue, smokey streaky bacon and a pheasant for tonight, about £15 for what I reckon is at least five meals.
So the paraphrased recipe for Trotter Gear (sic: always caped up for some reason) – with pictures...
1. Place trotters in a large casserole, cover with water and bring to boil for five minutes to release the initial scum given off by trotters.
Bit wierd looking at the trotters – I ate one in a bistro in Paris a couple of months ago, seared and covered in flour and probably cayenne pepper, delicious and fatty, but full of bones. However, it was bigger than these ones. It looks as though it had a limp. The trotters boiled up with a lot of stuff on the top. The reason why Fergus Henderson suggests that when making meat stock to constantly skim the top.
2. Place blanched trotters into the pot with vegetables (Onions, carrots, celery, leeks (split in half), head of garlic, thyme, pepper corns and madiera - but I am using red wine, which may be a mistake, I don't think it will be sweet enough)). Cover with stock and place in a gentle oven for three hours.
We had some stock already – something I am learning is essential. Anyway, easy so far. No chopping of veggies – in the oven for three hours. And I'll continue from then.