Pig's trotters (or cow's hooves) are not generally eaten in the UK, although I'm sure they used to be. As a child, I vividly remember my friends’ Lebanese-Egyptian dad, Tony Kanaan, eating soup with a big cow’s hoof sitting in the middle of his bowl.
4 pigs’ trotters
3 cloves of garlic, mashed to a paste in a pestle and mortar with a little salt
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
100 ml of dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of wine vinegar
4 tablespoons of dry oloroso sherry
- Ask your butcher to split the trotters lengthwise down the middle, then cut them across the way so that each trotter is cut into 4 pieces.
- In a large saucepan, brown the trotter pieces in some sunflower oil.
- Add the garlic paste, and fry for a few seconds.
- Add the ground ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, and sherry.
- Add enough water to cover the pigs’ trotters.
- Bring to a gentle simmer, cover the pan, reduce to minimum and cook until the trotters are very tender (about 2½ hours).
- Remove the trotters from the pan and set aside.
- Simmer the cooking liquid slowly until it is syrupy.
- Return the trotters to the pan and heat through.
According to Hugh, “Not everyone likes pig’s trotters … This is the perfect dish to make enthusiastic converts of sceptics.” Having tried it out on a tableful of sceptics, I can’t say I agree, as I was left feeling like a Jehovah’s Witness who has just had the door slammed firmly in his face. At least I was able to console myself with a large bowl of sweet and sour pig’s trotters all to myself!