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Crispy Pig's Tail

Submitted by: Fergus Henderson
This recipe is in categories Main courses, Starters,
About this recipe:
Difficulty: 4
Comments: Fergus Henderson says: 'At other times I have sung the praises of how the pig's snout and belly both have that special lipsticking quality of fat and flesh merging, but this occurs in no part of the animal as wonderfully as on the tail. You must ask your butcher for long tails.'
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Number of servings: 4

This recipe was submitted by: Fergus Henderson, Chef and owner of St John Restaurant, London and author of the award-winning book ‘Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking’.


Making and cooking it

1. Place the tails in an oven dish with the vegetables; add herbs, peppercorns, garlic, lemon zest, and wine, and cover with the stock
2. Cover with tinfoil, place in a medium oven, and cook for 3 hours, checking on it so it does not cook too fast; when done you should be able to easily pinch through the flesh
3. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the stock, but remove the tails before it turns to jelly and drain any excess liquid off them (you can refrigerate them at this point)
4. When they're cold and firm, mix together the mustard and eggs and have ready three bowls: flour, egg and mustard, and breadcrumbs
5. Dust them with flour, roll them in the egg and mustard mix, and finally coat them in the breadcrumbs so that they are well covered (do this just before you cook, otherwise the crumbs will go soggy)
6. Get a large ovenproof frying pan or roasting tray hot, add the butter, and when sizzling add the tails and roll them around (watch out, they can and will spit - be very careful)
7. Place in a hot oven for 10 minutes, then turn them over, making sure there is enough butter, and roast for another 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they do not burn
8. Serve hot with watercress or red mustard salad. Some may like a spot of malt or red wine vinegar on their tails. Encourage the use of fingers and much gnawing of the bone