|homemade spicy pork scratchings|
Another reason why I liked making these snacks recently was that my butcher gave me the pork rind for next-to-nothing - he threw it in for pennies along with the roasting joint I had bought. So even more frugal than usual and I have a whole load of pork fat from cooking up the scratchings which is absolutely fabulous on roast potatoes.
Skill level: Easy
Makes a small bowlful
500g pork rind (skin from the belly)
1½ tbsp sea salt flakes
1½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp garlic salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper (or ground chilli to taste)
- Put the pork rind on a plate and leave in the fridge overnight. This helps to dry the pork skin out and will give you a crunchier result.
- Pre-heat the oven to 140C / Gas Mark 1.
- Place the pork rind flat on a chopping board and score lightly with a sharp knife. (I use a Stanley knife.) Massage the sea salt flakes into the rind and leave for about 30 minutes.
- Put the pork rind in a roasting tray and roast on the high heat in the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 140C / Gas Mark 1 and cook for about 1½ hours. Check every 30 minutes or so to ensure that the pork isn't burning. Pour off any excess fat (and reserve for cooking fat - it is brilliant for roasting potatoes). After 1½ hours, turn the pork rind over and cook for a further 30 minutes.
- When the pork is crisp and golden, remove from the oven.
- Mix together the salts and spices and sprinkle over the top of the pork while still hot.
- Chop the pork into bite-sized pieces and serve immediately with good cheer!
- Delicious with Chinese Five Spice powder and served with sweet chilli dipping sauce.
- Add ¼-½ teaspoon of ground cumin to the spice mix or ground cinnamon, or try Cajun Spice Mix.
- Apple sauce is also a nice traditional pairing with pork.
- Don't use a deep fat fryer; pork scratchings are much better when baked in the oven.
- Some people suggest pouring boiling water or white wine vinegar over the rind before roasting. I find just drying the rind out overnight works just as well.
- Don't skimp on the salt!