A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Tuesday, January 26

Home Made Chicharrones

Also known as, Pork cracklins.

I've always been huge fan of all forms of pork, especially kinds that include a nice crispy skin. This does not include the horrible bastardization of pork rinds you find all across America that are so distant from their original incarnation theyve become nothing more than lightly flavored pork Styrofoam.

So wouldnt it be my luck, that once again, I find another oddity at Publix. Sort of like that heart I found a while back. I was looking through the pork cuts when my eyes landed on a simple small pack of pork skin. Just... pork skin. And only one. 46 cents. I grabbed it and rummaged through the rest of the pork, but indeed this one the only one... I have never seen pork skin at Publix before..... usually the skin is removed from every cut of pork the is sold in the US.. due to our strange squeemishness of sush things. Little do we realize, like the rest of the world knows, that this is probably one of the tastiest bits on the pig.
Americas most neglected pig bit.

So I took my little piece of skin home and prepared some chicharrones.

First, I cut the skin into little squares, and simmered them, skin side down, in water mixed with about 1 TBSP of baking soda for about 10 minutes. This supposedly conditions the skin for frying.

Once drained, cooled and very thoroughly dried (you're about to fry these and water + oil is NOT good) , I added a tiny bit of oil to my cast iron pan, and began frying the skin, fat side down first, to render the fat and finish crisping any meat still attached. Then, flipped them over to the skin side and let them crisp up til golden and bubbly. And drained them on a paper towel just like you would bacon. At this point while they were still hot, I sprinkled a generous amount of salt all over them. Salt is the only seasoning you should need, as the pork flavor on its own is wonderfully savory and strong.

I will say though... be prepared for some massive popping and splattering!!! I even had one piece completely jump out of the pan.

They turned out very tasty.... really wish it was easier to find skin like this. I was very pleased with my first attempt at home made chicharrones. :)


Anonymous rach said...

are they really tasty? cause I love pork in almost every way it is prepared, but I cannot stomach a pork rind, they are bland and foul to me and I'm wondering is this some fantastic fix to that dilemma?

8:37 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

Hey Rach!

Pork Rinds are heaven. HEAVEN. Do not call those puffs you find at the supermarket pork rinds. They are an insult to the might pig!!!

They are more awesome than bacon. Yes. It is true.

You like Bourdain right? Havent you heard him raving about pork skin? ;-D

10:58 AM  

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