According to certain specialists (why of course these exist!), the recipe for Sainte Ménehould-style pig's feet already existed in 1435 and was even served to Charles VII when he passed though the town of Sainte Ménehould.
For others, this dish saw the light of day at the 'Soleil d'Or' inn in the 18th century.
During the early morning of a day in 1730, the cook at this establishment noticed that she had left her pot containing pigs feet on the fire all night long. It's hard to imagine her surprise when she realised that far from being lost, her dish had simmered all night long and had developed a richer flavour. Even better, it was now possible to eat the bones that had become soft!
Whether it was in 1435 or 1730, it unfortunately didn't make any difference for Louis XVI, whose arrest would be related to the fact that he was delayed at the 'Auberge de la Varenne' tasting this dish which he was crazy about... Although some people can completely lose their head over this dish, it is relatively simple to make.
According to the 'Charter of the Brotherhood of Sainte Ménehould-Style Pigs Feet', it is imperative that the feet are the front ones and of a good size, with trimmed nails and closely sheared bristles. They must be scraped, washed and wrapped in bandages.
Still following the 'Charter of the Brotherhood of Sainte Ménehould-Style Pigs Feet' and tradition, the pigs feet must be cooked in a court bouillon and the cooking time must be "as long as the work day of an honest man" (with everyone left to their own to decide how long that day is!).
As described by Alexandre Dumas in his 'Grand dictionnaire de la cuisine' (Great Dictionary of Cuisine), this dish can be enjoyed once the pig's feet have been coated with bread crumbs and browned in the oven.
And since everything is good in the pig, all that's left to do is to enjoy it while it's piping hot, and to even eat the bones!