Monday, December 07, 2009

Holy Grail of Crispy Cracklings!!

The holy Grail of Crispy Crackling is time, low heat and seasoning - nothing more, nothing less.

The struggle to get crispy crackling on your pork rib is over, at least for me. I have discovered a stress-free way to get extremely moist, tender meat and the most deliciously crust.

This Friday, I invited my colleagues to celebrate what we have achieved in 2009. I bought two Nordfjord pre-marinated pork ribs, weighing in total 3 kilos / 6,6 lbs. The day before, I discovered a story in a newspaper telling that water had been added to this product. The famous Norwegian cook Bent Stiansen, went as far as warning those buying the rib, risked boiling it instead of baking it.

6 AM: I challenged his claim, simply by doing what I usually do. I placed the rib in the middle of the oven, on a rack over a baking tray. I poured water in the tray. Turned the heat on 100C / 215F, and left for work to attend a meeting. I returned at 10, to work from home, and attend to the food.

12 PM: I removed much of the water around noon and placed another tray under the rib to collect the dripping.

2.30 PM: I poured a bag of frozen Brussel sprouts, seasoned with salt and pepper and shaked the tray to cover the sprouts in dripping

3.30 PM: I placed 1 kilo / 2,2, lbs of pre-boiled potatoes on the tray. At that point I increased the temperature to 200C / 400F and after 10 minutes the cracklings started to puff up. At this point I monitored the rib every 2nd minute to avoid it burning. When the cracklings had a dark bronze colour I took it out and allowed it to rest for ten minutes.

My guests arrived at 4 PM. Then I could serve the most delicious pork rib ever, and I am pleased to say that they all agreed.

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