Home cook's VERY unusual method for 'melt in the mouth' pork crackling

Home cook's VERY unusual method for 'melt in the mouth' pork crackling

July 12, 2020

Home cook’s VERY unusual method for ‘melt in the mouth’ pork crackling wows the internet

  • An Australian mother has shared a recipe for slow-cooked crispy pork crackling
  • She seasoned the meat with garlic, rosemary and onion spice
  • Then broiled it with potatoes, onions and carrots in a slow cooker for nine hours
  • She said it ‘melts in your mouth’ with a crunchy outside and soft, juicy inside

Broiling pork belly in a slow cooker for nine hours then roasting the skin under a searing hot grill is the best way to make perfect pork crackling, a mother has claimed.

The dish is typically roasted in the oven for between two and three hours at 160 degrees Celsius, and raised to 240 degrees Celsius in the final few minutes of cooking to create the crispiest skin. 

The amateur chef posted the recipe anonymously in an Australian cookery group on Facebook, saying the meat ‘melts in your mouth’ and strikes the perfect balance with a crunchy outside and soft, juicy inside.

She seasoned the meat with rosemary, garlic and onion spice, before placing it on top of potatoes, carrots and onions and leaving it to broil in a slow cooker for nine hours. 

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Slow-cooked pork belly crackling, broiled in a slow cooker for nine hours then roasted under a searing hot grill for five minutes

Once cooked, she cut a slit in the skin, covered it with salt and roasted it under the grill for five minutes until it bubbled into crackling.

She made a simple sauce from leftover meat juices mixed with flour and butter.

‘Cheap and absolutely delicious,’ she said in the caption.

A boneless pork belly big enough for two people costs $14.40 at leading supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths.

Slow cookers are available from Kmart for as little as $19.

The amateur chef’s slow-cooked pork belly, which she says strikes the perfect balance with a crunchy outside and a juicy inside

Home cooks have been raving about the unusual method since it was shared online on July 4.

‘My mouth has never watered so much! I know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow,’ said one.

A second called it ‘absolutely divine’ while a third said: ‘Oh my God you are making me so hungry! It looks so nice.’

She served the pork with potatoes, carrots and broccoli covered in a simply sauce of leftover meat juice, flour and butter

MasterChef Australia’s Khanh Ong, known for his flavoursome Vietnamese dishes

Last week, MasterChef Australia’s Khanh Ong shared his tried and tested method for pork crackling, which involves lightly piercing the skin and roasting the meat in a double layer of baking paper and tinfoil.

The 27-year-old fan favourite, who first appeared on the show in 2018 and returned for this year’s ‘Back to Win’ series, said the trick to succulent pork is to start with a ‘uniformly’ shaped cut, avoiding lopsided pieces where one side is thicker than the other to ensure the flesh cooks evenly.

And while recipes typically advise leaving pork to dry overnight before cooking, Khanh said that’s not necessary and only buys meat on the day he plans to eat it.

Instead of seasoning the flesh of the pork with lashings of salt, Khanh uses the healthier – but equally tasty – technique of ‘scoring’ holes in the skin with a sharp knife, which allows naturally salty juices to pour out from the centre.

MasterChef Australia’s Khanh Ong’s techniques serve up this perfect cut of pork with a thick, crispy outside and a tender, juicy inside

He said it’s important to pierce lightly, stopping short of the fat to prevent too much juice escaping through the skin.

He adds flavour to the base by coating it with an Asian five-spice powder, made from cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, peppercorn and cloves.

Once seasoned, Khanh covers the top of the skin with one and a half tablespoons of salt which draws moisture out of the meat as it cooks to form golden, crispy crackling.

‘You want the whole thing to be covered,’ he said.

Khanh’s crispy pork belly, made with five-spice seasoning and cooked at 180 degrees Celsius for roughly 80 minutes

It’s crucial to rub the salt thoroughly into the skin, according to Khanh, to prevent the crackling from developing a chewy rather than crispy texture in the oven.

In preparation for cooking, Khanh lays a sheet of baking paper on top of a sheet of tinfoil and folds both tightly around the sides of the pork, leaving the top uncovered.

‘Usually I find the fat gets caught in the foil and then the pork gets stuck to the foil, but it doesn’t happen when you have a sheet of baking paper as well,’ he said.

Khanh cooks pork for roughly 80 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, or for between two and three hours at 160 degrees Celsius if he has time to spare.

For the crispiest crackling, he cranks the temperature to a searing 240 degrees Celsius in the final few minutes of cooking.

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