***Red alert! This post discusses, and has a photo of, stuffed pig’s trotter. If you don’t want to read about this, I suggest reversing your engines, changing course and coming back next week!***
I’ll admit I may be going into taboo territory here. Eating a Star Trek species??! While I don’t think they’re universally loved, the Tellarites certainly have their place in the Star Trek universe. This idea was of course inspired by the Tellarites having somewhat of a resemblance to pigs, and my thought that this meant they probably had cloven feet or hooves of some sort.
This recipe has a lot of steps, but as long as you are comfortable working with trotters, it is not difficult to put together, with the end result being well worth the effort.
Replicate your own
You will need to start at least 1 day before you want to serve these.
4 pig’s trotters
300g goat meat, minced (you can substitute lamb mince if you don’t have goat)
1 onion, diced fine
1 apple, diced fine
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon white pepper
4 juniper berries, crushed
2 or 3 sage leaves
10ml ice water
Butter, for cooking the onions in
You will also need some cooking twine and some muslin or cheesecloth fabric.
Start by deboning the pig’s trotters (or get your butcher to do it for you). You want to keep the skin as intact as possible. With a sharp knife, start to separate the skin from the meat and bone, pulling it taught as you go to make the cuts easier. Work your way up the trotter until you reach the first knuckle joint. Bend the joint so you can see where it separates, and cut between the joint, following it around the trotter. Twist the pieces in opposite directions and you should have a nicely boned trotter! This video shows the whole process very well.
Put your trotters to one side and gently cook your onion in some butter, until they are soft and start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the apples and cook for another 2-3 minutes, just until they soften slightly. Spread the mixture out over a plate and put in the freezer so it cools down.
If you did not buy your goat (or lamb) meat minced, now is a good time to mince it. Taking care to keep everything cold, add the cumin, pepper, salt and juniper berries and mix well. Refrigerate until the onion/apple mixture is cool enough to add (not frozen, but cooler than room temperature).
When everything is cool enough to be mixed together, add the sage leaves and the apple/onion mixture to the meat, and grind everything again through the mincer. Add the ice water and mix for 1-2 minutes, until everything is well combined and sticky.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into each trotter, packing it in well but not so much that the trotter loses its shape. The exact amount of mixture will depend on the size of your trotters.
Place each trotter on a square of muslin fabric. Roll the trotter tightly in the fabric, and tie 2-3 pieces of twine around the fabric to secure it. Rolling it in the fabric helps it keep its shape when cooking.
Place your wrapped up trotters in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer on a low temperature with the lid on for 2 1/2 hours. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate (still in the cooking liquid) overnight.
The next day, remove the string and muslin. Remove as much of the cooking stock (which will have turned to jelly by now) from each trotter as you can.
Roll each trotter in the breadcrumbs until they are well coated. Place under the grill (broiler - top down heat) and grill until the breadcrumbs are uniformly golden brown, turning the trotters as needed. This should take abut 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can fry the trotters in butter or oil to get them brown and crispy.
To serve, gently cut rounds of the trotter with a slightly serrated knife. You do need to be gentle so that the stuffing stays inside the skin. Serve with a salad with lots of vinegar and parsley, or with lentils.