Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pied de Cochon

Yes, you read that right. Pig foot, otherwise known as a trotter. It appears that I have a "nasty bits" obsession lately. After the ears, Michael over at A Dash of Stash persuaded me to try my hands at feet (heh).

I wanted to make something that my family would at least try, so I knew I couldn't go whole hog (ok, ok, I'll stop now) - I'd have to disguise the feet, alter their appearance completely. So I went with Thomas Keller's Au Pied de Cochon aux Sauce Gribiche, which I believe is in Ad Hoc at Home, but since I don't own the book, I'm not 100% sure. (Hint to anyone looking to get me a present!)

Using a Serious Eats post, this post by In Praise of Sardines, and this one by Slurp & Burp, I set out to make something delicious out of something slightly scary. Since those three posts give a pretty good step-by-step, I'm not going to repeat it. My only deviation from the recipe was in the sauce - I didn't have all the fresh herbs required, so I used parsley and shallots. I love this sauce. I want to put it on chicken, fish, asparagus...

Anyway, back to the feet. Unfortunately, my feet came without the shank attached, so I had very little meat - mostly tendon and skin. I tried to find a market that carried shanks, planning on boiling one separately, and adding its meat to my feety bits, but, alas, I could only find smoked shanks. And while I love smoked shanks for things like split pea soup, I didn't want smoked here.

[Gratuitous foot shot]

I used 3 different-sized biscuit cutters as molds, weighing them down with appropriately sized jars. The refrigerated disks solidified nicely, but fell apart once sauteed and baked. Maybe I should've added more broth? More fat? Maybe that extra meat would've helped. Not that I'm complaining too much, because regardless of the fall-apart-ness, this was delicious.

 [End result]

Final tally was 2-0 with one abstaining (Youngest wouldn't touch it). Would I make this again? Definitely. In about 3 years, when my arteries finally open up again.

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Bob said...

Looks... good... although I must admit to a certain skepticism. ;)

Vicki said...

Hi Bob - Don't blame you. I was skeptical (and a little grossed out) throughout the entire cooking process. But then pleasantly surprised.

Stash said...

Looks great to me! If you didn't tell anyone what it was I think they'd go for it--hard to hide when I make it. Excellent gateway dish!

Vicki said...

Hey Stash - Never would've made this if it weren't for your insistence on the deliciousness of trotters. Thanks!

KirkK said...

Hey Vicki - This looks lovely.... I'm thinking you could fool a lot of folks with this! ;o)

Vicki said...

Hi Kirk - Thanks :) I just have to keep them out of the kitchen while the boiling and butchering is happening.

Gabriella said...

Dear WorkinProgress, the pied de cochon look fabulous. I am so impressed that if was inspired by Thomas Keller and thought it was so cute how your you put at the end of the post the tally was 2-0 and how you would make this again but will wait till your arteries open up again! I must also say that your site was such a pleasure to visit. Well presented, clean, clear and beautiful photos. I shall be returning for another delicious bite. Thank you for sharing,
Cheers, Gaby
You can visit me at

Vicki said...

Hi Gaby - Thanks for the kind words :)