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Fergus’ Quail Eggs, Trotter and Bacon

Can’t make it to St. John this evening? Don’t fret, Fergus has shared a favourite recipe that you can serve up at home. Fergus’ cooking celebrates the oft neglected parts of an animal, and this recipe is no exception to that Nose to Tail philosophy.

Fergus Henderson



    Place the trotter gear and stock into a pan, then add the tomatoes, squeezing them with your hands to break them up. Bring to the simmer and allow to reduce until viscous; at this stage it should stop being stock and trotter but instead appear as one happy union.
    Meanwhile heat a small, deep-sided oven tray, add the duck fat and brown the bacon.
    Lower the heat slightly and fry your garlic until sweet and golden, then proceed to sweat the shallots and fennel – do not colour. Season intelligently. Scatter in the thyme, sage and bay leaf together with the fennel seed, increasing the heat in your tray as you do so.
    Pour in the madeira and allow to reduce by half before adding the viscous trotter gear, which has been simmering all the while. The crushed tomatoes should be prominent – not just blushing, but suitably embarrassed.
    Check for seasoning, add a splash of sherry vinegar to cut through the unctuousness and place the pan, uncovered, into a medium oven for 20 to 30 minutes, to allow all the members of the party to get to know each other.
    Spoon the hot trotter into ramekins, cracking two quail eggs onto the top of each one.
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