Fergus Henderson reckons there's no moment quite like a lip-sticking wobbly moment, and there's no better provider of that than a jar of his homemade 'trotter gear', which, he explains, has 'unctuous potential'. I found myself needing something uplifting on a wet miserable Monday and decided that creating some 'wobbly nuduals in a splendid jelly' would be a fine antidote.
I visited my great local butcher, Los Paisanos on Smith Street, and bagged a pair of organic piggy trotters. I got my man to split them too - I didn't want the release of gelatine and wobbly bits to be hindered in any way.
I raced home, put on some sounds and prepared to explore homemade unctuous potential. I followed his recipe in Beyond Nose to Tail - British Cooking Part II.
I boiled my trotters first to remove impurities, for about 5 minutes. I drained them.
I added trotters to a large pan containing a chopped onion, a split leek, a chopped carrot, a sliced stick of celery, 1/2 - 3/4 pint Madeira wine, black peppercorns, half a head of garlic, bay leaf, some thyme, and enough chicken stock to cover everything in the pan. As Fergus suggests, I put the pan in the oven (at about 300F) and let it sit there happily for 3 hours.
I strained and reserved the braising liquid (which was of course impossibly rich by now) and shredded all the meat, skin, and highly adhesive bits from the trotter bones. I added this to a Parfait jar and topped it up with the braising liquid. I had enough for one and a half jars actually. Apparently, this 'trotter gear' has innumerable uses and bags and bags of unctuous potential. I shall be exploring it's uses later this week.