***Pig's Feet*** 2 long-cut pig's feet 6 cups chicken stock 1/2 bunch thyme 1 onion, peeled and halved 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 teaspoon black peppercorns salt ***Herb Filling*** 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 yellow onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced salt 1 teaspoon minced thyme 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary ***Breading and Frying*** 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup dried bread crumbs 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten 3 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 8 cups vegetable oil salt
Combine the pig's feet, stock, thyme, onion, carrots and peppercorns in a pot just big enough to fit the pig's feet. Season well with salt. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about four hours, until very tender (the bones should pull away from the meat). Remove to a plate and cool just until they can be easily handled. Discard the cooking liquid and vegetables.
While the feet are cooling, make the filling. In a small covered pot over low heat, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until tender, about 7 minutes. Cool and stir in the herbs.
Remove the bones from the feet by twisting and pulling. (This is a bit difficult, especially for the queasy - do not be afraid to use a little force, but try to keep the flesh and fat intact.) The feet will have opened up at this point, with the fat side on the bottom; lay each one on a piece of plastic wrap.
Taste a small piece of the meat for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Spread half of the herb filling on each foot and roll tightly in the plastic until it forms a taut cylinder, then tie the ends. Refrigerate overnight.
Put the flour in one bowl, the bread crumbs in a second bowl, and the egg, water and mustard in a third bowl. Unwrap the feet and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Dip the slices in the flour, shaking off the excess. Follow with the egg wash and then the bread crumbs. Let rest for at least half an hour.
Pour about 2 inches of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When it reaches 350 degrees F, add the slices in small batches and fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. (Use a spatter screen if you have one, and be careful not to stand directly over the hot oil.) Drain on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Serve warm over a salad dressed with mustard vinaigrette, allowing 2 slices per person.
This recipe looked so interesting and unusual -- and so unlike the usual pickled pigs feet or jellied mold -- that I had to try it.
It wasn't until I got to the rolling in plastic wrap part that I realized I was basically making a sausage that would be chilled and sliced.
The final result was astonishingly good: mystery nuggets! crunchy on the outside, tender and tasty on the inside...
Trust the instructions. They will take you nicely through each step.
Use WHOLE trotter as told. I didn't because I hadn't found this recipe yet and already had trotters that I'd had the butcher cut into thirds. Whole trotters would have made the stuffing-and-rolling step a lot more manageable.
I had great fun with this, and felt it was well worth the effort!
Note: The deep-fry step can be omitted. Slices can be eaten cold or room temperature with vinegar, horseradish, or mustard -- but do try the fry.