Saturday 17th September 2011
I can’t believe this actually came out as well as it did! I must have attempted this at least half a dozen times in my adult life with very mediocre success. The crackling has always been a bit sticky & rubbery. Still very tasty but not the brittle pork crackling of my youth. This, on the other hand, was exactly how I remember it.
My Dad has always been the chief carver. Mum may put the food on the table but if you want anything cut up, Dad’s your man. The Sunday joint was where he got to show off his dexterity & expertise. If we were having pork he would start by removing the crackling. He would carefully slice through the layer of fat that separates the crackling from the meat so that it all came off as one ridged piece. It would then be snapped into several pieces & salted before being presented to my sisters & I, who were inevitably watching t.v. The salty blisters of fat would hit our taste buds & prime us for what we could expect for lunch.
I presented mine in much the same way & as we ate I told my son, Zeph, about my childhood memory.
“What do you think dude?” I asked as he noisily crunched his way through an enormous piece of crackling.
“Yeah, it’s alright. But I like the meat best.”
Each to their own. 🙂
I was told to keep the piece of belly in the fridge for 24 hours to dry out, which I dutifully did. I then took it out, an hour before I put it in the oven, & salted it. The only bit I changed was the cooking time. It took a good hour & a half for the skin to crackle. And that was at 240°C! But it was worth the wait.