It is one of the cheapest cuts of meat here in Switzerland at 5 CHF per kilo and while it is unavailable fresh where I am here in Neuchatel, you can get the salted variety. All you have to do is soak it in cold water for at least one full day (don’t forget to change the water at least twice) and then, of you go with the cooking!
Pork trotters are common ingredients in Chinese cooking, primarily for confinement dishes and come highly recommended because of its high collagen and gelatin content which are great for bones and skin. Of course the oil content is there but it’s still not as bad as taking cuts from the belly – an area that is brimming with heaps of fat and great for roast pork Chinese style.
I was to utilize these cuts for another dish with black rice vinegar (black vinegar) and old ginger but the Asian store ran out and I didn’t want to wait since the trotters were already soaking in their de-brine-ing solution. So the next best thing was to braise these chewy pieces with some spices the Chinese way. My mum would have cooked this in a pot over normal heat for hours on end just to soften the trotters but I decided to stick with a pressure cooker to cut back on the cooking time. The result is a lovely fragrant yet not too soft dish!
On a completely unrelated note, did you know that there are such a thing as motorcycle accident attorneys?
Braised pork trotters
Adapted slightly from Amy Beh’s recipe
1 kg pork trotters
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
10 – 12 dried black mushrooms, soaked
4 cm piece cinnamon stick
1 star anise
4 cm piece old ginger – halved and smashed lightly
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
(B) Thickening (combine):
1/2 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp water
- Bring half a pot of water to a boil. Put in trotter and blanch for three to four minutes.
- Remove, wash and leave the trotter aside for a short while. While it is still hot, brush it with 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce. Place the trotter and all the other ingredients, including (A), into a pressure cooker. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Release the pressure and remove the lid. Add thickening, then dish out and serve immediately.