Braised Pig Trotter with Dong Quai

Wonton Skin Soup
April 28, 2007
Simple Chinese Stir-Fry Vegetables
May 28, 2007

This appetizing ‘braise’ has been nagging me since Chinese New Year when one of my sister-in-law bought an almost similar dish to reunion dinner this year. Labled in my mind as very rich in fats and flavour dish, I conveniently shoved it to the back of my mind but the craving seems to have won over the very weak mind lately.

This dish is cooked using the “braising method” a superb way to tenderise the huge chunk of pig trotter and to give it a rich flavour right to the bone. Being chinese, it’s hard to resist a good porky dish, instead I turned ‘Organic’. You would probably ask WHY??? Since I try to minimise my pork intake, certain chinese dishes still calls for pork to give it the irresistable flavour so by using only organic pork, I eat less pork but a better quality version. Frankly speaking, organic pork has it’s pro and cons. It has less fat content, the pigs eat quality food, no beta-agonis and blah, blah, blah … The farm is run by Japanese technology which emphasise more on quality and hygiene. I put it to the taste-bud test and the results were pretty convincing. The minced pork has much less fats and tastes mildly sweet without the strong porky smell. Next, I tried the liver which I have stayed away from, for more than 8 years. Verdict, tasted really good and I noticed again, no strong porky smell and the texture was fine and consistently fragrant. (will share the liver recipe later). So, if you are curious, just try it, it’s only about RM2 – 3 more per kg.

 

Ingredients

1.2 kg pig trotter (whole with bone intact – make sure the trotter is properly cleaned by the butcher for easy use)
5 large slices of old ginger
10 red dates (seeded)
8 slices of Dong Quai
8 dried chinese mushrooms (soaked in hot water, stems removed and quartered)
1 can of button mushrooms (cut a design if you wish)
1.5 ltr hot water for simmering
3 Tbsp Organic grapeseed oil
sea salt to taste (optional)

Marinade for the trotter

  • 6 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 Tbsp light soya sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanche the whole pig trotter for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Marinade the trotter for about 1 hour.
  3. Heat grapeseed oil in a wok and saute ginger, drained dried chinese mushrooms, dong quai until aromatic (not burnt), put in the pig trotter and sear it.
  4. Slowly add about 150ml hot water at a time, throw in the dates and bring to simmer. Cover wok with a good lid to prevent unnecessary evaporation.
  5. Repeat the hot water process, making sure the trotter is 3/4 submerged in the simmering gravy at all times and turn the trotter from time to time to avoid the skin from sticking and thus burning.
  6. Pour in the button mushrooms half way through and continue to simmer. Let us be warned, this process takes easily 4 – 5 hours on very low heat so only those with patience will attempt this recipe. The gravy will thicken at the end of the cooking process, and needs no thickening agent.
  7. If you are boiling the cordyceps herbal wonder (refer to my Herbal Remedies category), after the 2 times of reboiling, save the all the used cordyceps and red dates and pour into the trotter and simmer. Cordyceps properties can then be infused into the gravy and not wasted. This process is optional.
  8. Test the tenderness of the trotter by poking a paring knife into the thickest part of the meat. Meat should be tender but not dropping apart soft.
  9. Trotter can then be served with a generous helping of delicious gravy. Worth every minute of the cooking time, I’ll say.

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