Pork Belly with Perfect Crackling
Also known as pork rinds in USA or chicharrón in Latin America, this is a versatile method of cooking pork belly. Once cut in little pieces it’s easy to serve with vegetables, in a baguette as Vietnamese bahn mi or in tacos Mexican-style. Be as creative as you want!
- 1kg of Free Range Pork Belly
- Salt & pepper
- Optional: paprika, cumin or fennel
- Preheat your oven at 180°C. With your pork belly, you first need to check that the rind has been scored by your butcher – this will increase the surface area of the skin and allow it to crackle a lot more effectively. Rub the belly with salt and pepper* – paying special attention to the skin and making sure you work the seasoning into the grooves.
- If you have the luxury of time, an extra step to ensuring next-level pork crackling is to leave your pork belly uncovered in your fridge overnight – the cool, circulating air will draw some of the moisture out of the rind.
- Once seasoned, put your pork belly on an oven tray with the fat facing up and turn the oven temperature up to 220°C. Cook for 45 min and turn the temperature down to 160°C for another 15 min. If you see that the skin is not quite crispy enough – most of the time it depends on the oven, they all have different temperatures – put the temperature up again at 220 or 230°C and fan-forced it if you can – do this for around 10 mins – keeping an eye on it – the rind should be audibly blistering. That should do the trick and get it crispy as possible.
*There is an optional added step of salting overnight.