If you get this dish right, you end up with a delicious savoury gelatinous sauce that makes the best comfort food on a cold winter's night. Plus it's really cheap.
(These amounts give a strong flavour so go easy if you prefer a lighter hit.)
4 - 6 pig trotters cut in half lengthways.
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or demerara sugar)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (about 6) star anise
1 large knob of ginger — skinned and sliced
1 whole bulb garlic — crushed
1 medium red chilli pepper — thinly sliced
1 bunch spring onions — washed thoroughly, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 cup apple juice
2 tablespns groundnut oil
Dash of sesame oil
Like (some) humans, pigs have hairy toes which you have to remove or else lose something of the magic. Wash the trotters, then cover with boiling water for five minutes. Scrape off the hairy bits. Dry off.
Heat the oil in a wok or large pot over a high flame. Add the trotters and brown for 2-5 minutes, then turn down to medium. Add the ginger, garlic, star anise and chilli pepper and stir (don't let the garlic burn).
Add the apple juice, soy sauce, cider vinegar, spring onions and sugar, plus a splosh of sesame oil. Turn up the heat so it's all boiling nicely then turn down to simmer for 2 hours until tender.
Serve over rice or noodles with greens.