Trotters, hocks, pieds: No matter what you call them, this rustic ingredient can be found in dishes all across the globe. In Philly, it’s making a comeback thanks to chefs who understand the classic, time-consuming preparations that coax out the delicacy’s best flavors. At Vetri, you’ll find its essence enveloped in delicate ravioli. At South Philly newcomer Bibou, it gets stuffed with foie gras for a very French treatment. And at Fitler Square’s Mémé, chef David Katz goes through a meticulous process for the fall entrée above. He braises pig cheeks, mixes the cheek meat with black truffle, then stuffs it into feet that have been simmered for four hours. The result is rolled in caul fat, chilled overnight, and basted in duck fat to order. (He serves it with beluga lentils and a delicate brussels sprout salad.) Katz knows it’s worth the effort: The tender, deep, meaty flavor and multifaceted texture reintroduce us to an original comfort-food dish that’s ingrained in history.
Taste: Eat This Now: Pig’s Feet
Trotters, hocks, pieds: No matter what you call them, this rustic ingredient can be found in dishes all across the globe.
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, September 2009