Today was the day I’d long imagined and hoped for – the first time I prepared the economically exotic cut know as trotters. Disgusting and fascinating, I have been bewitched by them from the very first.

My excitement quickly faded during the several hours it took to prepare Pied de Cochon, the dish I’d finally decided on to take my trotter virginity. The blush of excitement quickly turned to nervousness mixed with a little nausea which made way for deflating disgust and finally, pleasant surprise. (There is a connection I’m making my head to other past first experiences…)

Anyway, back to the subject, several things hit me over the course of preparing the trotters.

  1. There is a lot of energy put into them and I don’t mean the effort kind; I mean the National Grid variety. I had to cook them at a simmer for three hours.
  2. There is hardly any meat. When removed from the anatomy lesson of bones and tendons I maybe had 1/2 a cup of meat, this from 2 trotters that began at 2.91 lbs.
  3. My attempt to pluck them (that’s right, I said pluck) before cooking wasn’t necessary because the fat and skin peel away once cooked.

So, what do trotters taste like? I’m going to have to say fresh ham. And to be honest I’d recommend buying a fresh ham hock instead of a trotter if you want to make Pied de Cochon. I’ll have the recipe tomorrow, but for now here are the pictures from the T-Day experiment.

Thawed trotters, big and hairy

After being blanched for 5 minutes

After being simmered with carrots, celery, onion, thyme and bay leaves for 3 hours

After being simmered for three hours

Boney goodness.

Boney goodness?

The meat produced from 2 trotters...it's about 1/2 a cup.

The meaty result, all 1/2 cup's worth.


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