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How to Make Pork Cracklings

Pork crack. . . I mean pork cracklings.  Also known as pork rinds, chicarrones, deep fried fried pork skin.  Practically every country in the world has a version of pork cracklings.

Remember a few years ago when the Atkins Diet was all the rage? Sales of pork rinds went through the roof because, although they are full of fat and sodium, they were carb free! Folks ate those fried pork skins like they were going out of style (as my grandmother would have said.)

The pork crackling or rinds you find at the supermarket have been rendered, dried, then fried so they puff up.  Great if you have a factory, but for me I decided to slow roast the pork skin until all the fat was rendered and the skin was crispy.

I am participating in Charcutepalloza or The Year in Meat.  I made my own Maple-Pepper Bacon and the by-product of that was a large piece of skin from my pork belly.

I couldn’t let it go to waste now could I?

Because I had a whole pork belly, the skin was a very large piece.  I decided the easiest thing to do was to cut it in half, then slow roast each half in a roasting pan.

Since I had two pieces I decided to spice them differently.  On one I liberally sprinkled sea salt.  On the other I sprinkled on my smoky BBQ rub, to make a sort of BBQ flavored crackling, like a BBQ potato chip. But better.

I set my oven to 300 degrees, popped the roasting pan in and went about my business.  Three hours or so later I had crackling. And the house smelled heavenly. . .or porky.

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista