Chicharron – Deep fried pork belly – How To

December 26, 2005 in Colombian Food, cooking, deep fry, Food Porn, How-2, latino, recipe

Many cultures across the world rely on the pig for protein, Colombians included. One of the most delectable dishes is Chicharron (fried pork skins). This is nothing like the fried pork rinds that you buy in the store in the Atkins Low Carb Section. This is not made with the salt pork you can find in the meat isle. This is made from fresh pork belly and a cut that doesnt include much meat (the meat doesnt really hold up well to the process, its the fat that counts here).

During our holiday food festivties, we were not interested in huge quantities of chicharron but a taste. Below is a photo of some pork skin that we removed from a pork butt that we were using for a stock for empanadas. The skin is in the upper left corner, skin side down.

Stock: Step 3
Step 1: This skin is cut into smaller squares and placed in a pan with water and a tablespoon or so of baking soda. The skin-side is placed down and they are simmered for about 10 minutes. This step conditions the skin so that it fries up correctly.
Chicharron: Step 2
Step 2: These boiled pieces are placed in a pan with cool oil meat side down. Keep the temperature low. This step begins to render the fat and brown the meat.
Chicharron: Step 3
Step 3: With the temperature still in the medium range, flip the pieces over so that the skin side is down. Make sure that enough fat has rendered out so that the skin doesnt stick to the pan. I would NOT suggest teflon (high heat causes teflon to outgas toxins) and DO suggest a nicely seasoned cast iron pan like you see in these photos.
Chicharron: Step 4
Step 4: Bring the temp up slowly and cook until the skin is crispy, as shown below. Remove and cool enough to serve.
Chicharron: Step 5
Step 5: Once cool enough to handle, cut into smaller pieces, salt to taste, serve with slices of lime.
Chicharron: Step 6
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