Mark Hix recipe: Pressed pigs' ears

Serves 8-10

This is as close as it gets to turning a sow's ear into a silk purse says Fergus.

One could be forgiven for thinking of ears as rubbery things, not blessed with much culinary potential. Well, think again.

Pigs' ears are not expensive so don't be shy; ask your butcher, who should have no problem getting them, as where there are pigs there must be ears.

You can use this as a starter sliced, or cut it into cubes and serve it as a snack on sticks with mustard or pickles, such as gherkins.

12-14 pigs' ears, cleaned preferably by your butcher with any remaining hair shaved off with a razor

Pigs' trotters, cleaned
2 onions, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, washed and roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, halved
A bouquet garni
Black peppercorns

Enough very light chicken stock to cover the above ingredients (about 2 litres)

Wash the ears thoroughly and soak in fresh water with a couple of handfuls of salt for a day. Wash the ears off in fresh cold water and cut them in half.

Put the ears and trotters in a pan with the stock, all the vegetables and the bouquet garni, bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 hours or until the ears and trotters are tender (if you have a pressure cooker it will take half the time).

After the allotted time, carefully take out the ears, making sure they're cool enough to handle. Next, remove any hard cartilage then layer them in a terrine mould or similar-sized rectangular container or bread tin lined with clingfilm.

Strain the cooking liquid, discard the vegetables and put the remaining liquid and trotters into a clean pan. Place on the stove top and simmer until reduced to the point where it will yield enough to just cover the ears. Check for seasoning – remember it is going to be served cold, which always dulls the flavour.

Pour the reduced liquid over the ears, cut a bit of cardboard to fit in your mould, fold the clingfilm over the ears and place the cardboard on top. Apply weights to it – tins of tomato and so on – allow to cool, then leave in the fridge overnight. Next day, it is ready to eat.

To serve, cut into 1cm-thick slices or cubes as in the picture above.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones