panna cotta

Gelatin-The Myth Debunked by Abbie Zuidema

I was trying to think of a "how to" recipe that would be interesting.
Oddly it was gelatin that came to mind. Maybe I could bust the myth that gelatin was made of horse hooves. The actual process of making gelatin wasn't very appealing, so there had to be a delicious recipe as a follow-up. I was stumpted.

I asked Lindsay, thinking she would have some ideas.

"... what can you make with gelatin?"

Her reply, "Panna cotta." Of course!

Something sweet to follow a meat-heavy process. It was then we decided on a collaboration....

I called the Meat Hook and procured some pigs feet; gelatin is made from the bones and connective tissue of, namely, pigs and cows. Once home, we cooked the feet in the stock pot for 5 hours. When this is done you have to clarify the gelatin because it is clouded with impurities. This is when it got tricky for us. We thought we could simply clarify the gelatin using egg whites and shells. Seemingly simple enough? A dozen eggs later and the gelatin was still clouded and full of impurities. We poured through books, looked online, and asked friends and chefs. The one possible solution we kept hearing was in reference to making consomme, a clarified, nutritious meat broth. We would have to create a "raft." A "raft" is composed of ground meat, egg whites, and egg shells. By gradually heating the mixture, the cloudy impurities attach themselves to the meat/egg mixture where it floats to the top to be removed. Voila! Clear gelatin.

The recipe will be featured in the next Diner Journal. It's in the issue with "how-to's" and "collaborations." AZ