Harmonies and contrasts
for the palate

Armonías y contrastes para el paladar

Madrid-style pig’s trotters

Author:

Pepe Iglesias 
Amongst his various merits, that of being a food critic is one of the most noteworthy.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pig’s trotters, cleaned and washed
  • 1 chorizo (for stewing)
  • 1 black pudding (for stewing)
  • ¼ kilo salted pork shoulder
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 small tin fried tomato
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 glass red wine
  • ½ chilli pepper
  • Bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme and black pepper

Preparation method:

This is in fact such an easy stew to prepare that even a beginner can have a go, but the result is delicious, enough to tempt you to commit suicide by sopping up the sauce with your bread. The reason I say this is because if we forgo the bread, this dish is perfect for any kind of diet, since trotters have no fat at all, only collagen, pure protein… but I dare anyone to resist the temptation of dipping their bread into the sauce!

The first step is to gently fry the finely chopped garlic, onion and red pepper in the bottom of a pressure cooker.

When the onion begins to turn golden, add the wine, bring to the boil to allow the alcohol to evaporate, and add the remaining ingredients, just as they come, in one piece. Stir to ensure everything is properly mixed, close the cooker and bring up to pressure, allowing it to cook for about half an hour.

Vent to reduce the pressure, remove the lid and taste. This is the time to check the salt, and even add a bit more herbs and spices, although we have to be very careful here, because they should provide an underlying flavour, not dominate. Particular care should be taken with the cloves, because they can ruin the stew, but without them the other flavours will be lacking in depth.

If the trotters are not tender and completely gelatinous and the bones don’t come away cleanly from the meat, return the pan to the heat and cook, uncovered, until they are properly done.

The stew should then be left to cool completely (even better if until the next day), during which time the flavours develop more fully and the meat becomes even tenderer.

Serving suggestion:

In my restaurant we used to serve the trotters whole and debone them on the serving trolley, in full sight of the diners. At home, you can debone them in the kitchen to give them less of an air of a Viking banquet, although fans of pig’s trotters will eat them regardless of how they’re served, and those who aren’t will continue to find them revolting, no matter how they’re dressed up.

We never used to serve them with any accompaniment, unless a customer asked for a bit of white rice, but they go well with Basmati rice, spaetle and even some sautéed chickpeas… although in the latter case you will inevitably need an after-dinner nap, and perhaps even and oxygen bottle, to recover.

Nowadays, in what some call ‘show cooking’ but I refer to as ‘histrionic cuisine’, pig’s trotters are shredded and used to make all sorts of weird and wonderful dishes. For example, it’s easy to press them into a ring, and even, once they have cooled and been taken out, to brown them with a blowtorch.

You can also make a kind of mille-feuille, alternating layers of thinly-sliced fried potatoes with shredded trotter. Another fancy trick that’s fine and dandy, except that it lets you eat two complete trotters in the blink of an eye, whilst if you have to fiddle about cleaning bones, it seems to be more filling. A bit like eating velvet crabs: if you were served them ready dressed, you could eat a dozen, but it’d be no fun at all.

A really delicious way of eating them is wrapped in boiled cabbage leaves. Cabbage has a touch of bitterness that sets off and softens the taste of the trotters, although since this dish is designed to highlight the wine, it’s better to leave this suggestion for another occasion.

The wine has obviously got to be an albariño aged on the lees, in other words Mar de Envero

Hake with green ratatouille and avocado

Author:

Manel Oliveira
Chef and co-owner of the Tapería Castelao.

Ingredientes:

  • 300 g filleted hake
  • Courgette
  • Wild asparagus tips
  • Green pepper
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Avocado
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation method:

Finely dice the vegetables.

Gently fry all the vegetables except the avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste, and when they are ready, add the avocado and remove from the heat.

Sear the hake on a very hot grill plate, skin side down only, and then cook in the steam oven for 10 minutes at 65º C.

Place on the plate and serve.

Boned pig’s trotters stuffed with shoulder of pork with Gamoneu cream sauce

Author:

Ramón Celorio
Head chef at Los Arcos Restaurant

Ingredients:

  • 1 pig’s trotter
  • 50 g cooked pork shoulder
  • 225 g Gamoneu cheese
  • 20 g peach
  • Meat bouillon
  • Salt
  • Flour and egg
  • 25 g cooked Iberian pork belly
  • 30 cc cream

Preparation method:

Simmer the pig’s trotter for about one and a half hours, until tender. Bone and fill with the cooked pork shoulder, wrapping them round to form a roll.

Melt the cheese with the cream and add salt to taste. Dice the peach and the cooked pork belly, and brown in a non-stick frying pan.

end faq