Pigs' feet are a quintessential bouchon ingredient. Order caul fat from your butcher.
- 1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- 4 pigs' feet, split in half lengthwise (have butcher do this)
- 2 cups finely chopped soft white bread
- 2⁄3 lb. boiled ham, finely chopped
- 2 large shallots, peeled and minced
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lb. caul fat, rinsed
Combine vinegar, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a pot large enough to accommodate 4 whole pigs' feet. Reassemble split pigs' feet, wrapping each foot in cheesecloth, then tying with kitchen string. Add enough water just to cover, weight with a heavy plate, then cover and slowly simmer over medium-low heat for 4 hours. Cool, then refrigerate pigs' feet in cooking liquid overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°. Combine bread, ham, shallots, parsley, milk, egg, and 1⁄4 cup wine in a medium bowl. Mix well and season with salt. Unwrap and separate pigs' feet. Using your fingers, remove leg bone down to ankle joint and discard (foot bones should remain in place). Divide stuffing between feet, spooning about 1⁄4 cup into each cavity. Rinse caul fat and cut into four pieces, each about 12'' x 12''. Reassemble pigs' feet, wrap each in caul fat, then fit snugly in a roasting pan. Add remaining 1⁄4 cup wine and roast until golden, about 45 minutes. Separate halves again and serve warm.