“The pig’s feet that so delighted me in Chartres were the sort you’ll find in James Beard: simmered gently until so tender the bones are almost edible, then split open and the bones and meat extracted,” says Will Owen. “The bones are discarded, the meat chopped up and mixed with sausage meat and laid back upon the skin, and the whole thing rolled back into shape. These are then spread with mustard, rolled in crumbs, drizzled with butter, and then grilled to a golden brown.”

“My father used to make a special treat of lamb or cow trotters in a spicy yellow curry, simmered very slowly until the tender meat absolutely floated in sauce made sticky and rich from marrow and collagen,” says JungMann. “I usually have pork trotters in the freezer to add body to stews, though they are also very good braised until tender and then deep-fried so that the skin becomes shatteringly crisp while the meat is soft and juicy. I seem to also recall another recipe for a whole trotter, deboned and then filled with sausages and savories, similar to the Chinese process of deboning duck and goose feet and then treating them like a casing for pork sausage.”

“I had lamb’s feet in Burgos—they were so good that I wound up ordering a second ración which had the waiter looking at me funny,” says wattacetti. “They had been braised in tomato and wine and were really tender. I would make them but it’s hard to get lamb’s feet.”

Discuss: How do you like your feet?

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