So while we were at Paris, we returned to this small rustic cafe where the only way of ordering food for non French speaking folks like us is to point, draw or guess. Well I guess we guessed right when served steaming hot bowls of lentils with a chunk of ham. Yes, chunk. It’s as though the chef didn’t bother to cut/weigh the ham before cooking. Just as well. We (or mostly me) was famished from all the walking and carrying xiaoliang around.
The lunch was as extraordinarily filling and good. So who says French food 吃不饱 (not filling)??
2 pig trotters, with meaty portions of the (front) legs attached. Cut lengthwise by butcher.
2 celery stalks
1 bulb garlic, cut into half
Some coriander stalks
Bring two pots of water to a boil. Put all the veggies in one and the pig trotters in another.
Let as much gunk to be released from the trotters as possible. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Remove trotters onto a tray. Discard the dirty water. Rinse trotters if necessary and transfer into the pot with veggies.
Bring to boil and allow to simmer slowly for about 3 hours.
Remove trotters into a large tray.
Strain the trotter stock into a large container, leave uncovered for an hour, cover, refrigerate and reserve for making ramen soup base (to be described at the end of the post).
Meanwhile remove all the bones from the trotters. Reserve the bones for the ramen soup base. Separate some large pieces of skin to make pork crackling. Tear the rest of the meat and skin into small chunks. We may use them immediately or keep in fridge to use for another day.
Oven baked pork crackling
Preheat oven 240degC. Place the big pieces of skin in a single layer on an oiled baking tray. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt. Bake in hot oven for 10 mins, turn down the temperature to 200degC and bake for another 30 minutes or till nicely blistered and crispy
Pig trotters with butter beans and chorizo
Trotter meat and skin (sans the large pieces) of the above preparation
1 can of butter beans
Half a chorizo, diced finely
A pinch of fennel or cumin seeds.
Parsley or coriander leaves
Combine everything except the leaves in a pot. Add salt and pepper. Add some water to loosen up. Bring to a boil. Simmer (covered) for 20 minutes for the flavours to marry. Add leaves and simmer for 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary.
In a small saucepan, put half a cup of puy lentils, a small chunk of carrot, celery and onion and enough water to cover an inch over the lentils.
Bring to boil and simmer for 20 mins. Remove veggies. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
Wash 2 handful of rocket leaves, spin dry and dress with olive oil and salt
In a dish with a little depth, spread a layer of lentils. Add a generous portion on top of the lentils. Top with a handful of rocket leaves and a few pieces of pork crackling.
Eat immediately as you must be hungry by then..
Ramen soup base
Pig trotter stock
To continue to make the ramen soup base, bring the pig trotter stock and trotter bones from the above preparation to a boil. Add chicken bones. Simmer for 3 hours.