Eating Nose-to-Tail is sustainable and delicious, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with something you’ve never cooked and maybe never seen before! We’re here to help. Our Offal, Not Awful series highlights delicious ways to enjoy more confusing cuts.
It is probably not surprising to hear that when breaking down a whole pig, you end up with a lot of skin. Your pork chops, bacon, and smoked ham all started with a layer of skin until it was removed by the butcher. Sometimes the skin is left on a roast to help keep the thick layer of flavorful fat next to the meat during cooking, but it is typically removed from most cuts. However, this delicious part of the pig should not be discarded as skin is the key ingredient in pork rinds – a crunchy addictive snack enjoyed around the world. Also referred to as cracklings and chicharrón, pork rinds take advantage of pig skin’s tendency to puff up and become light and airy when cooked. There are many variations on this dish using the traditional overnight drying method, a quicker shortcut technique, and even cooking the skin in the rendered lard we taught you how to make in the last edition of this series. But no matter the method used, we recommend sprinkling a spice blend over the rinds immediately after frying for a fun kick in flavor. These snacks are paleo friendly, healthier than you might think, and a delicious way to minimize food waste. Enjoy!