Eating Nose to Tail

Having been repeatedly told that one of the biggest barriers to enjoying headcheese is the word headcheese I've decided to make a very similar dish (meat set in gelatin) but use a few different ingredients and call it something a tad more pleasing to the ear - pain de pieds was born.

Playing off of headcheese, I decided on feetbread (I used trotters as my gelatin source.)  That name, however, did not sound any more appetizing than headcheese.  A light bulb went off, I translated it into french and a much more pleasing (at least in name) dish was born.
Trotters and dried spices soming up to a simmer.
My chopped up trotters (pigs feet) went into a pot of cold water with some dried whole spices; juniper, peppercorns, allspice and whole dried chili.

This pot was on the stove, being occasionally filled up from my kettle, for a few hours.  When cooking trotters always skim the foam that appears on the top of the pot.  There will be lots of foam.

When the trotters are lovely and tender strain the trotters and keep the liquid.  It will be cloudy and full of gelatin (awesome).
Feet and cooking liquid.
When the trotters are cool enough to handle carefully pick all the meat, skin and tendon from the bones.  Make very sure you remove all the bones.
Bones on the left, good stuff on the right.
Take all the meat, skin etc that you've lovingly separated from the bones and chop it finely.
Put your pile of meaty skin, and gelatinous stock in the fridge  and let the stock set.

Once set its texture should look like this.

Taste your trotter jello - it should taste savory but not too complex.  Keep in mind that this will be served cold, so go a little heavy on the seasoning.

Put your jello in a pot to melt.  I seasoned mine with salt, siracha, white wine and cider vinegar.  I also chopped up the only carrot in my house (which is kinda sad) in a fine brunoise and put it in my simmering stock to cook very slightly.
Line a small, loaf shaped dish with plastic and put your chopped feet in the bottom.  Strain the carrots, pour your seasoned liquid over the chopped feet and sprinkle the carrot over the liquid.
Put the whole mess back in the fridge to set, ideally overnight.
I'm too excited to be back, I just couldn't wait to post.  I don't have a finished image yet, tomorrow, I promise.

Also - I wanted to say "Hi!" and thanks for stopping by Formaggio yesterday to the nice man from Michigan.  I was in the shop later that day, and was really sorry I missed you!

More on my pain de pieds tomorrow.


03/12/2010 10:10

Actually I'm from PA. Sorry I missed you but hopefully we will get a chance to meet on my next visit.

PS the cheese and charcuterie I purchased at the shop I excellent - I only wish we had something comparable near my home!

03/12/2010 10:22

PA makes more sense - my co-workers must have gotten mixed up. Next time you visit let me know and I'll ask one of the managers to take you down to the cheese cave :)

The products that we stock at the shop are excellent, it's an awesome place to work.

04/04/2010 21:28

Juniper, really? As in the Juniper bushes that are common in landscaping with the hard blue/green berries? Huh, I did not realize they were eatable. The nifty things I learn from you. :)

04/08/2010 13:29

Also the dominant flavour in gin :P

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03/27/2014 23:59

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