This section is from the book "The Epicurean", by Charles Ranhofer. Also available from Amazon: The Epicurean, a Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art.
Have eight scalded and clean pigs' feet; soak them for several hours in water, drain, and place them in a saucepan with cold water; bring this to a boil, and continue simmering slowly for three-quarters of an hour; then drain, refresh, wipe and singe the feet; tie them together with a tape and range them in a stock pot having the bottom covered with large vegetables; pour over plenty of water and a bottleful of white wine, adding salt and aromatics, then boil again while skimming; now paste on the lid with a paste made of Hour and water, and continue cooking the feet for twelve hours in the oven, allowing them to cool off in their own stock; drain, untie, and split each one in two lengthwise; season over with salt and mignonette, bread-crumb them English style, or with egg-yolks beaten up with melted butter (No. 13;, then roll in bread-crumbs, broil of a nice color over a moderate tire, serve very hot.
If the feet have to be cooked at home, then clean them well and tie them together in pairs; boil them in a stock in which salted meats have been cooked, or else in a broth fragrant with vege tables, onions, carrots, a bunch of parsley garnished with thyme, basil etc., peppercorns, cloves and allspice; four or five hours will suffice to have them done properly, then let them cool off in the same liquid; unwrap and cut each foot into two parts; wet the surfaces with a brush dipped in butter or melted lard, pare and roll in bread-crumbs; broil them for fifteen to twenty minutes over a moderate fire.
This is one of the best, at the same time the easiest way of utilizing the pigs' feet. Make two pounds of forcemeat composed of one pound of fat pork taken from under the spine and a pound and a quarter of lean taken from the end of the tenderloin. Peel five good sized truffles, cut one of them up in slices to lay over the "crepinette" or caul fat, and the other four in small three-sixteenths of an inch squares. Mix the forcemeat with the small bits of truffle, two eggs, two pinches of flour, and a few drops of orange (lower water: season with a third of an ounce of salt for every pound, white pepper and nutmeg; mix well together and leavestand for half an hour. Bone four pigs' feet cooked in a white stock, cut the meal into small pieces and put them into a saucepan with good broth (No. 194a) just sufficient to cover, add the truffle peelings and a little sherry wine. After this has been boiling ten minutes pour the whole into a flat square vessel to make a layer half an inch thick, then leave it to get cold. Soak a "crepinette" or caul fat in cold water, wipe it perfectly dry and then spread it out; lay on this three slices of truffle placed lozenge form. Roll out a ball of the forcemeat of two ounces, flatten to an oval form.
Cut some of the feet now formed into a jelly the same shape only a little smaller; and lay it on the forcemeat, cover with another piece exactly the size and shape of the first then wrap around the " crepinette" giving it while rolling it in the hands the shape of an oval.
Butter these with a brush, dip them in white bread-raspings, and then broil them over a slow fire; turn four times while cooking to allow the juice of the feet to penetrate the forcemeat. At the last moment increase the heat; they should be of a fine golden color all over.
Cook the feet the same as when prepared for broiled (No. 1784), let them get partially cold in their stock, then drain, unwrap and cut each one in two lengthwise; bone every one of the halves properly, season with salt and mignonette and fill all their insides with a stuffing of pork and chopped truffles, with a quarter as much fine liver baking forcemeat (No. 81). Smooth the surface of this dressing and cover it over with slices of raw truffles; wrap each half foot in a square of soaked and well dried "crepinette" or caul fat, brush over with butter or melted lard, and dip them in bread-crumbs; broil for twenty minutes over a moderate fire, then dress on a hot dish with a little gravy (No. 404) added.