One of the stand outs for pork over the other land animals is the rind. Why? Because this is where the crackling comes from.
As per my book Your Meat Mate here are 5 terrific steps you can take to make sure you’ve got the best crackling for your pork belly before you follow a recipe or think about tweaking one.
- Chances are that the rind will already be scored when buying from the butcher. I usually find that the scoring isn’t deep enough. Use a box cutter with a retractable blade to do the job of going deeper into the skin yourself. This is a really good and tough knife so it could do a better job than the butcher. DO NOT CUT INTO THE FLESH! You will lose all those valuable juices and not get the crackling.
- In the meantime, have the oven on at 220 degrees C (430 degrees F) fan forced.
- Pat dry the scored rind and rub salt all over. Make sure that you rub right into the scored areas. Of course, experiment with some spices as well. When doing this have the scored rind rolled as much as you can. The more the skin is stretched and exposed the better the crackling result.
- Give the rind a really good searing on high heat for about 5 minutes. This helps to dry and give the rind a fatntastic browning before it is to be put into the oven.
- Place the pork belly on a tray rind side up in the oven. Give it approximately 30 – 45 minutes.
Impress your family and friends with you pork crackling!
For more on red meat cooking, visit www.yourmeatmate.com