Cook this stew the day before you wish to serve it, as this gives the dish a richer blend of flavours and a chance to skim off any excess fat which may collect. The trotters have a large proportion of bone so you will require this quantity for four people. It would be advisable to order them from the butcher in advance.
1.3 - 1.75 kg (3 1/2 - 4 lb) meaty pig's trotters
15 ml (1 tbsp) tamarind pulp
150 ml (1/4 pt) water
6 red chillies, seeded (use red for good colour)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 - 3 medium-sized onions, peeled
120 ml (8 tbsp) oil
20 ml (2 tbsp) soya bean paste
30 ml (2 tbsp) light soy sauce
30 ml (2 tbsp) dark soy sauce
1 star anise
1 cm (1/2 in) fresh ginger, finely shredded
10 g (2 1/4 tsp) dark brown sugar
just under 600 ml (1 pt) water
fresh coriander leaves or shredded spring onion to garnish
1. Ask the butcher to cut the trotters into chunky pieces through the bone.
2. Soak the tamarind pulp in the water for 10 minutes, then squeeze out. Set one whole chilli aside for garnish and pound the remainder with the garlic and onions.
3. Fry in oil for 2 - 3 minutes. Stir in the bean paste, then turn the trotters in this mixture to coat them on all sides.
4. Add the soy sauces, tamarind juice, star anise, ginger, sugar and water.
5. Add salt if necessary, but go carefully as the bean paste is quite salty.
6. Cover and cook gently for at least 2 hours or until the pork is tender.
7. Cool and leave overnight. Skim away any excess fat.
8. Cover and bake in an ovenproof casserole in a moderately hot oven 160C (325F) Gas 3 for an hour or until the pork is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling.
9. Serve scattered with fresh coriander leaves or spring onions and the reserved chilli, cut into rings.
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