Saturday, September 12, 2015

Heritage Recipe : Braised Pig Trotter

I am happy and honoured to be working with Le Creuset in the coming months, in which I will be using their timeless and beautiful cookwares to cook up homey dishes to share with everyone. Since I have been using Le Creuset cast iron pots for more then a decade, I have more or less got myself familiarised on how to handle them. Thus, as I showcase some of Le Creuset's products with the different dishes, I hope I will be able to highlight the cookware's features like their extraordinary heat-retention and its damage resistant enamel coating. And don't get me started on the array of colours they have available for their products...enough to make me go gaga over them. Definitely one of the few cookwares presentable enough to be taken directly from the stove to the dining table. So much win.
If you see carefully, some of those pots have already collected "souvenirs" from the years of cooking with them. But trust me, it is still solid as a rock and functions the same as the day I brought it out from it's new packaging. 

Growing up in a Hokkien family, we do a lot of braised dishes. And one of them is this Braised Pig Trotter.  And as long as I can remember, my parents has been cooking this dish for the family. Whether it is for a casual dinner or having guests over or during festive seasons, this dish always seem to fit the occasion. Sometimes we would use pork belly instead, but the formula is pretty much the same. The meat is cooked at low fire for long hours to create that fork tender effect. And having that dark flavourful gravy "elixir" alone, is good enough to make me chomp down a bowl of steam rice. Such wonderful taste of tradition and nostalgic flavours definitely needs a trusty recipe and of course a good cookware. I am happy to say that Le Creuset dutch oven is just perfect for the job. And can I just say that new Cool Mint colour is just gorgeous!
In this post, I will share with you all, how I cook up this family favourite using Le Creuset's  25 cm French Oval Oven. Personally, I think 24 or 25 cm oven are just perfect for a small family usage (like mine). It fits a midsize chicken, a pig trotter and even a midsize fish too. 

Let's take a look at the required ingredients for this recipe:

Ingredients for Braised Pig Trotter (Serves 4-5 pax)

900 g to 1 Kg Pig Trotter, removed any hair
4 to 5 slices of ginger
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2-3 spring onion, cut into smaller segments
500 - 600 ml water


1/2 tsp quality 5 spice powder
1 tbsp Chinese wine (绍兴酒)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese wine (绍兴酒)
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp white ground pepper
1.5 tbsp rock sugar (冰糖)

Add ons: 
200 g firm tofu, cut into smaller squares
4 hardboiled eggs

  • First order of business is to wash the new Le Creuset pot with warm soapy water, just like how you would with any new cookware.

  • Then fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Blanch the pig trotter.

  • Remove the pig trotter and leave it to drain on a clean plate. Pat dry and rub in the marinating ingredients. Let it marinate for 1 minutes at least. In the meantime, rinse the dutch oven and dry it.
  • Pat dry the pig trotter. At this point, marinate the pig trotter with all of the marinate ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  • Heat up 4 tbsp of cooking oil in Le Creuset oven over medium low fire. 
  • Pan fry the pig trotter in the dutch oven but make sure you have something to shield the possible oil splatter.

  • Pan fry both sides, then off the fire and carefully remove the leg and place on a clean plate. You will notice there are some bits of the skin stuck at the base of the oven. That is okay, those will add flavours to the dish and will come off when we do the braising later. 
  • Add in the smashed garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise and ginger slices. Cook till fragrant over medium low fire.

  • Now proceed to add the pig trotter, follow by all the seasoning ingredients EXCEPT the sugar. Stir to mix and coat the leg with the flavourings and cook for a couple minutes.
  • Add in the water and bring the pot of ingredients to a boil.

  • Cover the pot with it's cover and slow braise the trotter for a good 30-40 minutes. 
  • After 30-40 minutes, open the lid and add in the rock sugar and spring onions.

  • This time, leave a small gap when you place the lid back over the pot. Let the sauce slowly reduce to a thick gravy, about 1/3 left.
  • At this point, you can add in the firm tofu and hardboiled eggs to braise together with the trotter for another 10 - 15 minutes.

  • You can now remove the pot from the stove, covered and let sit till ready to serve later.

I would usually cook this dish early in the afternoon and let it seat to soak up the flavours further. Especially since the Le Creuset oven is excellent in retaining the heat, it will still continue to breakdown and braise the meat with the flavourings. So when we have the dish for dinner, it was still warm and just perfect for the kiddos. 

The best part of this dish? Everything! Fork tender meat, galantines pork skin, gravy soaked tofu and perfectly flavoured braised eggs. Gravy is perfectly intense with meat and fat essence rendered into it. Give me steam rice please!
If you wonder if the pot has any stains after this long braising process...none. After we mop up all the gravy, I did a quick wash up with soapy water, it was good as new. Happiness. 

I am glad I managed to learn how to cook this dish from my parents. Now I get to cook it for my own family for many years to come. And trust me, this Le Creuset French oven will still be good enough for them to cook this dish with when it is their turn! 
Interested to get yourself a lovely Le Creuset dutch oven too? Head on over to Le Creuset 's official website or go to their FB page for more offers and see he range of cookwares they offer. Alternatively, you can go to major departmental stores like Tangs, Robinson, or Takashimaya to check out the products in person. Get a feel which size is more suitable for your family or personal use. 

Hope I have inspire you enough to give this homey and delicious dish a try. 
Do drop by my Instagram or here to leave me a comment how it worked out for you. 

Until then, do what you love and stay happy!


nicole said...

hi there I just discovered ur blog and IG
wow you r my inspiration ... I cook for my family too but have been constantly looking for more inspirations elsewhere!

will be trying out ur recipes very soon!
btw the gadget that u use to shield oil splatter... may I know what it is called and where to get one?

Unknown said...

hello, do you have any discounts as a partner for le creuset that you can share?(:

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Wei Loong,
Unfortunately I am just doing a collaboration with them, no partnership. All discounts and offers can be found on their websites at . Else major departmental stores will have their cookware offers which I am sure Le Creuset is one of them. Happy shopping!

eva said...

Hi honeybee, I see that you use le creuset pretty often for braising and stews. I'm gonna get 1 too but can't decide on round or oval. I'll wanna use it for stews and roast chicken. Which is your Favourite size and shape of le creuset Dutch oven? Thank you!