Tuesday, August 25, 2009

48 hour Trotter

So the idea of eating a trotter in its entirety seemed like a beautiful thing. What could bring you closer to an animal then simmering away its foot in a porky stock for 48 hours with the idea of eating bone and all. Well folks, let me save you some time and excitement and describe what its like. Picture taking a piece of drywall off the floor, dipping it in some water to dampen it a bit, then placing it in your mouth and chewing in to its gritty, powdery nature. This is exactly how the trotter tasted. I was very surprised to even see it hold its shape and integrity after all that cooking, thanks to it being wrapped in cheesecloth. We actually simmered it for 48 hours over a period of 5 days or so. Not ideal, but definitely not the reason for this failed attempt. If you remember, i got the idea from an old school book i have. It notes that if you cook a trotter for this length of time, it is completely edible. Perhaps this was a way for the poor to survive back in the day and this gives new meaning to eating the whole hog. But let me tell you how happy i am to be living in 2009 when times for the most part are good. 
I really wanted to like this, i really did. 
Unfortunately, it looked like crap and pretty lifeless. I dont think i noticed it at first because i was thrilled with the idea of eating it all. I sliced into it and it kind of crumbled but kind of stayed together, so we were off to an interesting start. The bones were pretty hollow as if whatever good stuff that originally was in there had now had the life sucked out of it. We breaded it up and fried it in a pan. Both Colin and myself tried to down it but didn't make it far. We then tried feeding it to one of our servers. We told her what it was, but didn't tell her how we felt about it. We rarely give them food, so she jumped at the chance to have a nibble. Perhaps she was being nice, but she didn't think it was that bad, not at first anyways. Then the sandy texture of the bone, which was hard to get out of your mouth lingered on and her face grew less happy. We broke out laughing and she went for a glass of water. That was that, another one for the bin. 


jon w said...

tried this a few weeks ago. it was so bad I just assumed I had started with bad trotters. all the porky pigfoot flavor was gone, there was nothing left but slimy skin and sawdusty bone.

Sydney said...

I'd never heard of cooking trotters like this. The idea does seem really enticing when you first think about it. I'm disappointed it turned out badly, because I would have really liked to try it.

Grant van Gameren said...

Horrible isn't it?

Zalbar said...

After slow cooking that thing for 48 hours I'm surprised it tasted of anything at all, you're basically making a very rich pork stock, then eating the garbage left over.

I bet it would have tasted loads better after only 4-6 hours as a soup, sort of like oxtail soup with dumplings, potato and peas.

Even better would be to make souse out of it.


Of course, if the whole idea was to try and eat the bones, well...uhm. ya, I dunno. I've had cow and goat bones that just flake after braising for a long time, and it's pretty gritty. Not exactly like sand, less dense but really inedible.

Love your blog, love the idea of of your place, will visit next time I'm visiting Toronto from Montreal.

erikd said...

Hey, I found that if you braise it directly in liquid, the liquid takes up all the flavor (think veal stock....you wouldnt want to eat the veal bones after the remi). If you have a vacuum sealer, it doesn't have to be expensive, you can simmer them at 200F for about 48 hours. They will come out looking like raw trotters, but they will be super flavorful, especially with a fat pinch of salt in the bag before you seal it. You can't eat the large shank bone, so pull it out before you seal it. The cartilage et al will be delicious. Use a small vacuum bag and do individual trotters. Just imho.
Erik Desjarlais
Evangeline Restaurant
Portland Maine USA

Jenn said...

looking forward to my first attempts at home charcuterie...but first thing's first - where do you get your instacure? i'm up near georgian bay and deciding between ordering it online or continuing my attempt to figure out who sells it around here...advice?

dangoodbaum said...

my first black hoof visit for my last birthday sent me on a bit of a meat-kick, and though I've never taken to trotters thus far, I decided to give them one more try.
I am still feeling a bit disappointed/enraged that I missed out on a hoof cafe brunch (by showing up 3 minutes after opening), but at least I can go home and have my own trotter in log form.

If you don't like my tongue and feet food videos, no one will.