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.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect