Fried pigs' tails

11 September 2006
Fried pigs' tails


20 pigs' tails (Henderson uses fresh which cost about 50p each)
Mirepoix of vegetables - onion carrot celery garlic
A little red wine
A little meat stock
4 bay leaves
Bunch of parsley stalks
Stick of celery
Seasoned flour
4 eggs
175g English mustard powder
White breadcrumbs


Put the pigs' tails with the mirepoix into a roasting tin and moisten with a little wine and stock. Cover and braise in the oven. Put the tin into the bottom of the oven - as it should not be too hot - for two or three hours.

The next crucial step lies in judging when the tails are done. Again experience is key. Chef Fergus Henderson of St John restaurant in London says: "Squeeze them and you will know. If they fall off the bone they have gone too far!" Cool the tails. Roll them in seasoned flour.

Beat the eggs with the mustard powder and roll the floured tails in this mixture.

Then roll the eggy tails in the breadcrumbs. At this point the tails can be trayed up and kept for as long as two days if needs be.

To prepare the dish sear the tails in a pan until they take some colour and transfer them to a hot oven under foil or butter paper for 10 to 15 minutes.

At St John they are served two tails to a portion with a plain watercress salad for contrast. The dish is priced at £7.50.

Prepared this way pigs' tails are surprisingly meaty with a good deal of crunchy sticky flesh. They are an instant favourite with anyone who likes trotters.

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