In tough times, people get creative with food, so – as the saying goes – many struggling families used every part of the pig but the squeal. As so often happens with recipes created from necessity, the gourmands of the world elevated simple fare to culinary art. This was quite a feat with pork trotters. Fresh pigs’ feet may not seem appetizing, but the meat is tender, soft and flavorful. Whether preparing pork trotters for down-home dirty rice or a fancy cassoulet, cooking pork trotters is time-intensive, but the results are worth it.
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Rinse the pork trotters and pat them dry with paper towels.
Place the trotters in a large bowl and cover them completely with cold water.
Set your timer for 15 minutes. When the time's up, drain the pork trotters by pouring them, and the water, into a colander.
Rinse out the bowl, return the trotters to it and cover them with water again. Set the timer for 15 minutes, and drain them when it goes off.
Place the pork trotters in a large skillet and cover them with water.
Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Turn the water down to a simmer, cover the skillet and cook the trotters for one hour and 45 minutes.
Season the trotters with the herbs and spices of your choice. Garlic, shallots, thyme and bay leaf all go well with trotters.
Cover the pot and simmer the trotters for another 15 minutes. Drain the pigs' feet and and serve them as it, or continue on with your favorite recipe.