Pork Belly Chicharron...

Discussion in 'Pork' started by worktogthr, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    There is a bodega a couple of blocks from where I work that has an amazing hot lunch selection thats a sampling of all the Americas. Everything from pernil, to various south and Central American sausages, Peruvian styled rotisserie chicken, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken and the list goes on and on. With all the good food they have, I still pass most of it up for the most delicious and guilty pleasure on earth... Pork belly Chicharron! I had to try to recreate this at home, so like every other food idea in my life I have spent the entire week obsessing over it, reading about it online, comparing recipes, asking colleagues at work that have made it in their homes, and luck would have it, a local supermarket had boneless, skin on bellies that were a little too thin for nice bacon. It was destiny!


    So here's the belly:


    The bodega has the rib bones and meat still attached but most of the recipes I found call for boneless.

    First step is to slice it into pieces about 1 inch wide to 3 inches long give or take

    Next most recipes called for cutting "feet" into them by sliding the knife down every inch or so without going through the skin:

    Then, rub the skin and meat side with some baking soda which increases the crispiness and put them on a rack and let them rest in the fridge for a while to dry out. Ideally overnight but at least an hour. I couldn't help myself so an hour it was:

    After an hour I put them in a pan with just enough water to cover and a little salt:

    So the idea is that they simmer/ boil to tenderize (turning every half hour or so) until all the water is evaporated and the pork belly pieces fry in their own rendered fat. Brilliant!


    Well, I was upstairs with my daughter and the water must have just evaporated because I heard fireworks haha.


    So the water was gone and they were beginning to fry. Lesson learned... Have a spatter shield on the pan haha.

    At this point you turn the heat up to medium and fry on each side for 3-5 minutes until they are crispy and delicious looking or until you are tired of being burned by sizzling lard jumping out of the pan haha.

    Take them out and drain on some towels and then chop into bite sized pieces so that you don't eat too many. That didn't work.

    Here are some pics of them ready to eat:


    I can't even describe how good these are. Worth every cholesterol filled, fatty delicious calorie haha. The crunch of the skin is unlike anything I've ever eaten, combined with the fatty meat, and soft rendered fat. Ok... I have to go on the treadmill for the next six hours haha thanks for looking!!

    -Chris
     
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those are great, You are brave/bold, I always do cracklins outside. That lard smell, the splattered floor, and the chance of ignition.. If you understood my luck, you'd understand. They sure are delicious though.

    So what did you dust 'em with?
     
  3. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hahah you are wise sir! Quite a clean up and many singed arm hairs. I will have to figure out a way to do these outside next time. Most of the recipes I read simply used salt to dust them with so I kept it simple and sprinkled some kosher salt right as they came out of the pan. I like pork rinds, but these with the belly/rib meat attached are just over the top delicious. I am going to go charge up the heart paddles haha
     
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Found myself in a similar situation 20 years ago. I worked not too far from La Familia Restaurant in Lancaster PA. Hole in the wall place with a big steam table and two small tables for guests. Pick and choose to your taste. By the second visit it went from a little of 6 items to Half a Plate of Chicharron with some Rice and Beans! Yours look great and you scored big time on the belly!!!...[​IMG]...JJ
     
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is how I make 'em....... outside..... 


    You still get burned a little, but you don't have to scrub the floors a couple a times too! LOL

    I love cracklins and was thinking the other day it was 'bout time.
     
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is brilliant. I have never seen anything like this. I don't get out much. Lol

    Does it have to have the skin on?


    POINTS for this for sure.
     
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Points!

    I see this as a good use for the discada burner!!!
    Will be a great appetizer for camp!

     
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They should be banned! Illegal!! Better than bacon, I guess because they are worse for you....ROFLMAO.....

    Everything, illegal, immoral, fattening or causes cancer is always soooo good!  
     
  9. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You talked me into it. Lol.
     
  10. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much! Same experience for me. From the outside it looks like a hole in the wall. Inside, clean as can be, really friendly staff, and an insane variety of delicious hot food. Rice and beans and chicharron is my standard. Maybe some plantains, or a sausage or two haha. It's $6 small, $8 large no matter what you ask for them to cram in the little styrofoam containers. Heaven! I gotta try it with the ribs attached like they serve it. I love gnawing on the rib tips.
     
  11. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I definitely need an outdoor burner for stuff like this. Damnit! Another cooking toy. It never ends.
     
  12. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much. Yeah, this was new to me as well... Until a few years ago. I have worked a few blocks away from this place for almost 15 years and just discovered it. I saw it, it looked like the crispiest piece of slab bacon I had ever seen it, I tried it and never looked back.

    I'm sure they'd be good without the skin but the skin is the crispier than anything I have ever eaten. The sound in makes is like a television commercial haha if you can try it with the skin you definitely should!
     
  13. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks!! I'll trade you the recipe for the burner hahaha. Oh damn I gave it away already haha
     
  14. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks awesome man, very nice ! I need to try these ! Thumbs Up
     
  15. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That looks great maybe a tad to much fat for me,but great job [​IMG]

    Richie
     
  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    WOW, those are awesome!

    I've never seen anything like that before.

    There's always some thin parts on the bellies I get, so next belly I know what to do with them.

    Great post, thanks for sharing this!

    Points for sure!!

    Al
     
  17. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much! Definitely worth trying but not an every day meal haha


    Thanks Richie. They are indeed very fatty and like Foam said, that's why they are so damn delicious. Not something you can eat a whole portion of, well I have but... haha

    Thanks so much Al for the points. Yeah, its definitely a good way to use up the thinner bellies. I have a real hard time finding thick ones around here. I have read that these can make some really delicious tacos. If any are left over after my work friends get at them, I see a griddle cook in my future!
     
  18. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I new the griddle would get involved at some point!!

    Al
     
  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here cracklins were always a great part of a Boucheire, so it only happened occassionaly. Besides it takes that long for ya to forget how much fun ya had cleaning up....LOL

    Well, You gotta let that hair grow back.

    Set a basket of those on the table poker night!

    They used alot in cornbread, I never tried it, I couldn't ever get left to use....LOL
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  20. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    These are a thing of beauty!

    Points for food art!

    Disco
     

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