Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pork scratchings - make your own!

I love making crab rangoon, but after I made it for New Year's Eve, I realized I'd be wasting at least half a package of won ton skins if I didn't make something like won ton soup by the expiry date! I couldn't let that happen, so off we go to Superstore. Alas! They are out of ground pork. But we realized something very important...we could get some pork shoulder, grind it ourselves, and make some ground pork. And some sausages - we haven't had Cumberland type sausages for a while, and I make a wonderful version, so we could use it for that, too. So we bought $16 worth of bone in pork shoulder and took it home. (My package of won ton skins were about $1.67 so I saved some serious money by not letting half a package go to waste!)

The next day, we spent an hour or so cutting up the meat and getting it ready to grind. I put it through my Kitchenaid grinder, and made myself some lovely ground pork. Coarse, then coarse again for sausages; coarse, then fine for ground pork for my won ton soup. We eventually got 5 pounds of ground pork that we used for sausages, won ton soup, my mom's great sausage and rice patties, with some left over for the freezer.

If you're a carnivore like me and you have a Kitchenaid, buy the grinder attachment! You will not regret it! Make yourself some hamburgers that taste like real meat with 1/3 each of chuck, brisket, and short rib!  I am not being paid by anyone to say this...I love my grinder attachment. I use it at least once a week and we get way better ground meat because of it! 

But here's the part of the story I feel compelled to share with you...we made our own pork scratchings! I didn't think it would be possible, but we did and they were amazing! Check out how to do this on the blog, Just Cook It. (Make sure you read parts one and two - look just below the article for the link to the second part). 

We followed the instructions on that blog but we made two small changes. We put the trays in the fridge and left them for 72 hours and they came out great. And only salt them the once. We salted the pork scratchings the first day, then flipped them over on day two and salted them, then salted one tray just before cooking (but left the other unsalted as the control group). The three-salted tray was very very salty but the two salted-tray was still salty. I love salt, but I think that the one salting would have been adequate with maybe a little salt near the end of the cooking process. (To establish my salt-cred: The passenger seat of my car is generally covered in a light sprinkling of salt because I need to have salt when I'm eating anything with eggs or potatoes and I tend to eat in my car quite often.) We did not put pepper on them as I hate black pepper.

If you have ever eaten pork scratchings - we have something like them in Canada called pork rinds, but they are puffy and you don't get the little bit of fat like you would from a package of British ones - I really encourage you to try this. It costs very little to get the pork fat, and they are really incredible!

Please do not comment that you'd like to make this but it's so high in fat or comment on the calorie count. It's very boring to read and we all know that something made from fat isn't a low calorie food. They are permitted on Atkins, apparently. 


Nancy Liedel said...

As a foodie, I admire the heck out of your ability (They need a show called, "Top Formulator." You would so win that!!! I can see you trying all the high tech stuff and maybe if it was food and cosmetics and you FINALLY learn to be an addict to soap (It is very addicting. Really think before you start)...I think I should take this to Bravo. Most formulators only dedicate themselves to one area. You know it all!!! Such a suck up. Don't mean it that way.

Anyway, it almost makes me want to eat meat again. Pork is the gateway meat. Bacon is pork on crack.

mamafrog said...

Actually, they sell "Hog Hides" in health food stores! Something makes them low fat, but I'm not sure why? God love the South(US)! I grew up in the south and had never tasted pork rinds until after I got married. My husband's family loved them so I was introduced to them and fried green tomatoes. He says I'm close to being a Yankee since my mom is from Kansas.