Friday, 17 January 2014

Pork Scratchings

Love them or hate them - I've never met anyone who just 'likes' pork scratchings. The way I've seen it, you're either like my girlfriend - who won't touch them with a barge pole (who's got a barge pole!?) or you're like me - who could quite happily munch my way through the salty little bad boys for breakfast, lunch and dinner, for all of eternity. But I won't, and I wouldn't - and not just because I would quite literally die by mid-afternoon of the second day, but because these fellas are supposed to be treats. They're meant to be enjoyed - guiltily - on the rare occasion in a pub, or even the morning after when you just need something to mop up the hangover. Or, perhaps, on a random afternoon at home when you're twiddling your thumbs and looking for an excuse to turn your oven on. Make these yourself, make them properly, but most importantly - don't make them often.
Heyyyyy remember when I told you to save the skin from that pork belly? Sure you do, it was in that awesome post on home-cured bacon. What? You didn't read that awesome post on home-cured bacon? Well that's a shame. I think you should definitely read that post on home-cured bacon.
Completely dry the skin from your pork belly, then salt the rind side and leave for about 20 minutes or so. Get yourself a nice sharp knife and cut into hefty, scratching-sized pieces. Arrange on a roasting rack and stick in a pre-heated oven at 220C. You don't HAVE to put tinfoil underneath the rack, but unless you enjoy cleaning pork fat off your oven floor it's a pretty good idea. Do it.
Cook for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown, crunchy, salty, delicious, meaty, salty, delicious... sorry, what was that? I think I fazed out for a second there. Whilst they're still hot toss them in some of your favourite spices - I went in with a teaspoon or so of smoked paprika and cumin and it worked a treat.
And you're done. Pour yourself a nice cold beer, stick the football on and dive in. These things taste so damn good, I swear they should be illegal. Just please, trust me when I say you shouldn't eat these more than, say, once a month. They're so damn good, just so damn bad.

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