Pork trotters are the feet of pigs. The cuts are used in various dishes around the world, and have increased in popularity since the late-2000s financial crisis.
Prior to sale the trotters are cleaned and typically have the hairs removed by the use of a hot tank and beaters. They are often used in cooking to make stocks, as they add thickness to gravy, although they are also served much as a normal cut of meat.
Chef Marco Pierre White has long served trotters at his restaurants, based on the original recipe of mentor Pierre Koffmann. In the New York restaurant Hakata Tonton, 33 of the 39 dishes served contain pig’s trotters.
Following the late-2000s financial crisis, there has been a boom in popularity of pig’s trotters in the United Kingdom as a revival in cheap meat recipes occurred. In 2008, British supermarket Waitrose reintroduced trotters to its stores, and found that they quickly became popular. In 2009, Pierre Koffmann set up a pop-up restaurant, and found that diners ate an entire month’s stock of 500 pig’s trotters in less than a week.
Pigs Trotters in Australia
Cooked pigs’ trotters, glistening with jelly, were once a common sight in Australian butchers’ shops. Again, they make an economical and nutritious meal, and one that can be presented with style and flair. They, along with calves’ feet, are also an invaluable source of gelatine for glazes and sauces.
Cooking Pork Trotters
Trotters can be bought fresh and pickled, and require long, slow cooking. Three to four hours of cooking time is necessary to make them tender. The cooked meat can be removed from the bones and then set with its own cooking stock. It may be necessary to reduce the stock to obtain a firm jelly and if pickled trotters have been used it is important to check the stock for excess saltiness. One of the most delicious ways to prepare trotters is to bone and stuff them with a mixture of ground pork and spices, the same, in fact, as those used for cotachino sausage. Trotters prepared this way are known in Italian cuisine as zampone. Zampone are cooked slowly for 4 to 5 hours, then served with lentils. Prepared zampone can be bought from some specially delicatessens. In Modena, Italy (a region also known for its balsamic vinegar), zampone are the basis for a specially dish called bollito mista. Bollito mista includes tongue, veal, beef, stuffed capon and zampone, all simmered in meat broth and then sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. It is served with a variety of seasonal vegetables.
Pork Trotter recipes and combinations
- Bean crock/les pais au fou, in Jersey, Channel Islands
- Cappello da prete in Modena, Italy
- Cotechino in Modena, Italy
- Crubeens in Ireland
- Pezinhos de coentrada (trotters with coriander), in Alentejo, Portugal
- Pied de cochon in Sainte-Menehould, France
- Tebichi, in Okinawa, Japan
- Tom tin moo in Laos
- Crispy pata and Patatim in the Philippines
- Rukyta kiaule.s koja in Lithuania
- Zampone in Modena, Italy
- Jokbal in Korea
- Peus de porc in Catalonia
- Souse in Barbados
- Khash in Iran
- Pacha in Iraq
- Eisbein or Schweinshaxe in German, known as golonka in Polish
- Stelze in Austria
- Khao Kha Mu in Thai cuisine