Happy Feet

I ordered a chest freezer, which hasn’t come yet, but in anticipation I made six liters of trotter stock (it’s like Fergus Henderson’s Trotter Gear, but I separate the meat and strain the liquid. I also don’t use Madeira). It’s such a jiggly joy to have on hand, and I always freeze most of it in ice cube trays for convenience; even one cube adds superlative lip-smackery to anything from simple sautéed greens on up.

This batch I made particularly neutral in flavor, since it’s so easy to add custom aromatics on the other end. Carrot, onion, a bit of celery root, and a couple of fennel stalks were it. Oh, and a shake of herbes de Provence, because I think a pinch of dried woody herbs gives such a wonderful note to stock. And it’s hard not to add lavender to pretty much everything. This pot simmered low, with the surface of the liquid undulating gently, for about five hours. The house smelled porky.

Now it’s all socked away in the freezer, waiting to be put into a bag. The new, big freezer will be here soon, I hope; in doing research for an upcoming article I’ve found a bunch of excellent sources for humanely raised, pastured meat in our area and my inner survivalist wants provisions for when the rapture happens.

8 comments to Happy Feet

  • mimicooks

    Foot stock! I haven't tried trotters before, but I hear they are tasty.

  • The Spiteful Chef

    Which freezer did you go with? We're still looking into them and probably won't purchase until we move, but are anxiously awaiting that moment.

  • Julia

    Everyone I talk to is about to get a chest freezer. Myself included. Jealous!

  • cookiecrumb

    Yaay, chest freezer! Mine is in the dining room.

    (Kristie: Sears.)

  • peter

    Mimi: They are, and very gelatinous.

    Kristie: It's a kitchen aid, from Lowe's. If you can, get an energy star; beyond that there's not much difference beyond size.

    Julia: Ours comes tomorrow. I bet you can guess what goes in first.

    CC: I remember that post. We have a storage area in the back of C's Pilates studio, so it won't have to double as furniture.

  • The Spiteful Chef

    Is it hard to find the energy star? Just curious because of the "if you can."

  • peter

    Not hard, but there are fewer to choose from and they can cost more.

  • JonnyS

    i feel like that trotterish gelatinousness could become a go-to in all kinds of things. I'm thinking it'd add beautiful shine and body to all kinds of sauces, maybe being especially useful in creating that classic brightness to good old westernized chinese dishes like chop suey (which i've never made but have a secret hankering for). Not to mention an unbelievable porkiness. Damn you for having a chest freezer. We barely have room for ice trays.
    Jonny (WANF)

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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