Pig’s trotters stuffed with sweet potato and stilton, with pickled cabbage, avocado mayonnaise and sauce
For the pig’s trotters:
2 pig’s trotters, soaked overnight in cold water
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs of thyme
1 large glass of white wine
1.5-2ltrs of chicken stock, or enough to just cover
For the stuffing mixture:
1 large sweet potato
100g Colston Bassett stilton, crumbled into small pieces
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
2 good knobs of butter
For the avocado mayonnaise:
1 small ripe avocado
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
250ml vegetable oil
½ a lemon, juice only
For the pickled cabbage:
½ a medium-sized white cabbage, finely chopped
1 knob of butter
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 lemon, juice only
1 handful broad beans, podded and shelled
For the sauce:
800ml of the braising liquid
1 knob of butter
First bone out the trotters. Using a sharp boning knife, make a slash vertically down the trotter. Very carefully free the outer flesh from the bone right the way around, until you get to the knuckles. Slice through the joints, then twist the bone to reveal the tendon that runs through the middle and cut this also. The large bone should come away, leaving you with the boned trotter in one piece, attached only to the toes at the bottom. Reserve the bones.
Heat a large saucepan to a medium-high temperature. Add a little oil and brown the bones all over, then add the trotter vegetables and herbs and continue to fry for another couple of minutes. Pour in the wine and reduce by half, then add the boned trotters and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for about 3 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
For the stuffing mixture, put the sweet potato onto an oven tray, scatter with salt and roast for about an hour or until soft in the middle. Scoop the middle out into a bowl and mash well.
Heat a frying pan to a medium temperature with one of the knobs of butter. Gently sweat the onion, garlic and thyme for a few minutes until very soft but not coloured. Add this to the mashed sweet potato along with the breadcrumbs and stilton. Season well and set aside.
For the avocado mayonnaise, scoop out the flesh of the avocado into a food processor with the garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper and combine well. Add the egg yolks and mix for another 30 seconds, then with the motor still running very slowly pour in the oil. Once all of the oil has been added the mixture should have emulsified into a thick mayonnaise. Stir through the lemon juice and any more seasoning to taste and set aside.
When the trotters are cooked, remove from the braising liquid and allow to cool. Strain 800ml of the stock through a sieve into a large frying pan or skillet and bring to the boil. Reduce right down until the sauce has thickened and only about 200-300ml remains. Remove from the heat and cover for finishing off later.
Lay the trotters onto two pieces of cling film. Spoon a generous amount of the stuffing into each, then use the cling film to help reform the flesh around the sides. Wrap with the cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour to set.
When set, remove the cling film from around the trotters and transfer to a baking tray. Smother with the remaining knob of butter, season well and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, basting occasionally.
While the trotters are cooking, make the pickled cabbage. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the shredded cabbage. Cook for a few minutes until tender, then add some of the sugar and vinegar. Taste and adjust until the sweet and sour levels are just right. Add the broad beans and cook for another couple of minutes, then finish with the lemon juice.
Re-heat the sauce, whisking in the butter at the last minute.
Scatter a good amount of the cabbage and bean mixture onto each plate and carefully top with a stuffed trotter. Dot a bit of the avocado mayonnaise around the side, spoon over some of the sauce and finish with a few rocket leaves.