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A snack for champs: Homemade Fried Pork Skins (Flashback)
How did I end up making homemade fried pork skins?
I recently made a trip to one of the most inspiring institutions created by modern man: The butcher. Living abroad adds another special dimension to such visits, since there is no uniform way to butcher meat… as the saying goes ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat’ well multiply that assumption when it comes to butchering a cow. (Unless you’re in some parts of India, then there is only one way to butcher a cow… more on that another day 🙂
I now live in a land where good old rib-eye is called entrecote and wrapped up small and boneless… a pleasant cut, but some days I need to go back to my roots and get a nice thick dry aged cut- bones included, just as nature intended.
That’s when I go to Taylors & Jones… it’s a British butcher shop on Kungsholmen , here in Stockholm. Great product and service to match. This visit I went with some lovely pork chops, and of course a few of their popular house made sausages.
Once I got home, I realized I had been gifted another treat I often forget about: a large strip of skin was left on the chops…. I had a flash-
Pork Cracklins were now on the agenda!
(If I was going to bake the chops I may have left the skin on to crisp up nice and flavor the meat: but homemade fried pork skins was too tempting.)
Fried Pork Skins may not sound so fantastic if you are not already well acquainted (but if you eat bacon you ought not judge), but for those who know- it’s a snack you grew up with… salty, savory and crunchy.
and to top it all off- I feel a lot better not throwing parts out to waste.
You find this snack all over the world, but from an American perspective its very southern. Back in the day, people cooked down the skins to render out the fat to make cooking lard, and fried pork skin was a byproduct of this process.
This is how I made my little bunch at home:
(If you are making a lot, I suggest cooking outside in a large pot over a fire, this can be a fire hazard.)
1: I sliced the skin into strips and then chopped into rectangles… but you can cut as you like.
2. I placed my pieces into a cast iron skillet on medium low heat. I waited for 10 mins, then stirred to prevent sticking. You will notice oil started to accumulate in the pan from the fat cooking off.
3. I stirred again after another 10 mins.
4: Then after about 25 min cooking, the skins were all brown and hard. I scooped them out of the skillet, and then turned up the heat to medium high.
5. With the heat higher I threw the pieces back into the pan, and they began to pop and crackle (Hence the name: Cracklins). I allowed to cook for about 1 min and then took the pieces out and onto a plate lined with paper towels.
6. Season with salt and cayenne pepper and enjoy your homemade fried pork skins!