Trotter Noodle Soup
Trotter Noodle Soup w/ BBQ Pork Loin, Pickled Ramps and Rhubarb
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking Time 4 hours
This recipe explores the flavors of 2 of my favorite dishes: Mexican pozole and Chinese BBQ Pork and Noodle Soup. The trotters create a rich and flavorful broth, further fortified with mexican chiles and fragrant oregano. The pickled ramps and rhubarb should be made ahead of time since it requires 24 hours in the jar before serving. They add a sweet and sour note. You’ll need a couple of mesh strainers or a chinoise to make the broth.
4 trotters (pig’s feet)
2 white onions, halved and skins removed
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole dried Mexican oregano
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
12 Mulato Chiles
12 Guajillo chiles
1 10-oz bag Al Dente Farm and Field: Egg & Mushroom Fettuccine
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 lb pork loin, Cut into 1.5” x 1.5” strips
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 stalks rhubarb
20 ramps (wild leeks)1 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 ½ cups water
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
Make this ahead of time:
Picked Ramps and Rhubarb:
Remove the root end of the ramps and cut them up into 1” segments, starting at the white end of the wild leek and cutting toward the leaves. Place them in a pint mason jar. Thinly slice the rhubarb stalks and move them to the jar on top of the ramps.
In a large saucepan, add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and seeds. Bring the liquid to a boil, then through a strainer, pour it into the jar almost to top, 1/2” from the rim. Cap the jar and tighten the lid. Slowly lower the jar into a pot of boiling water, then immediately shut off the burner. Allow the water to cool completely. The jar should sit for 24 hours before using.
Trotter Stock and trotter meat:
Place the trotters, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and rosemary in a stock pot. Add enough water to cover, heat to a slow boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover stock pot and simmer for 4 hours, until the trotters are falling apart. Pour contents of the stock through a strainer pressing on the contents of the strainer to get all the juice. Reserve any trotter meat for later use but discard the bones, skin, and onions. Pour broth once again through a fine mesh strainer or chinoise and set aside.
While the trotter stock is going, you have 4 hours to get the other items ready.
Start with the chile peppers. Place the chile peppers in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover. Place something over the chiles to weigh them down in the water. Another saucepan filled with water or a bowl filled with water placed over the chiles does the job. Bring the water to a boil then continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes. The chiles should be soft and falling apart. Pour the contents of the saucepan through a strainer, reserving the cooking liquid for later use.
Flush the chiles with cold water to make them easier to handle. Remove and discard the stems and seeds. Place half the chiles in a blender and add enough cooking liquid to blend until smooth. Repeat with the rest of the chiles. Next reduce the chile puree into a paste by “frying” the puree. Place a large skillet over high heat. After a couple minutes, once the skillet is very hot, pour a small amount of the puree in the skillet. It will sizzle rapidly and start to reduce quickly. Take care not to pour in too much puree, otherwise it will sizzle, bubble, and spatter. You will have to do this in several batches, using a silicon spatula to stir and scrape the paste out each time. Note that if you add too much cooking liquid when blending the chiles, it will take more time and more batches to reduce the puree into a paste. Repeat this until all the puree has been reduced into a paste. The paste will be thicker and darker in color than the puree.
Drop the pork loins in a 1 gallon size plastic zipper bag with 4 tablespoons of the chile paste and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Toss the pork around in the bag, making sure that every surface is well coated with the chile paste mixture. Set aside for later.
Making the Broth:
Pour or scoop the trotter stock into a large saucepan or stockpot and bring to boil. Trotter stock is rich in gelatin and may start to gel as it cools. Lower to a quick simmer and add the remaining chile paste. Whisk to combine and dissolve the paste into the broth. Continue to reduce by simmering for about 30 minutes. At this point, season the broth with salt to taste and set aside.
Cook the Al Dente fettuccini noodles according to package directions. Rinse with cold water to cool and drain, then toss with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Plating and Serving:
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Season the pork loins with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to a hot pan and sear each side of the loin strip. Depending on the size of your saute pan, you may have to do this in more than 1 batch. If you overcrowd a small saute pan with too much meat, you won’t get a good sear. Transfer the loin strips to an oven dish and roast until the internal temperature of the loin is 155F.
Let the meat rest.
Bring the trotter broth back to a slow simmer.
Divide the pasta among the plates (4-6ppl). Top each with some sliced pork loin, 2 tablespoons of the pickled rhubarb/ramp mixture, and any remaining trotter meat. Ladle the broth into each bowl and serve hot.