Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chicharrones or Pork Meat and Skin...

I love chicharrones even if they are high fat....they're yummy and easy to make and leave you with an excellent "manteca" to use on beans and stuff.... not for the faint hearted who are always worrying about cholesterol, ok?
Maxi Carne (chain butcher shop with cheap prices and good quality pork) has a "carne mixta" or "recortes" for about $28 pesos a kilo! You can also ask for "lonja" (the skin of the pork) These are pork pieces left over when they cleaned meat, like scraps but with fat on it (you need it). I buy 4 Kilos because it reduces a lot plus my guys love carnitas!!! The lonja will be the chicharron part, pork skins fried in lard..... Use a pressure cooker (cleaner and easier) and put the whole thing in there with maybe a 1/2 cup water or less. Close it up and let it work. If you're using a regular pot you need to bring it to a boil, simmer for a long, long time. The fat turns into lard and the whole thing cooks in this, slowly until it begins to brown and the meat starts getting brown and has crunchy bits. Scrape the bottom as it could stick. Do not salt until it's done. In a pressure cooker it takes about an hour, depending on the meat but check it and keep cooking until the lard is clear, the meat is browned and it smells and tastes like carnitas.....
Save the lard (infused with pork taste) and refry beans here (they will be fabulous!!!) or anything else calling for lard. Serve with chopped cilantro, chopped onion, lemon wedges and good salsa on tortillas..... Or if you don't want to cook this, simply call Los Casitos (on Itzaes by Calle 47) 925-9988. For 4 people, about 1 Kilo "maciza" all meat or "mixta" has meat, skin, ears, etc. and comes with everything you need. You can also ask just for "chicharron" or "buche" (my favorite, pork stomach) and they have "sesadillas" which are quesadillas made from brains.

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