Monday, March 28, 2011

RECIPE - Pork Rinds (Torresmo)

I'm posting this recipe for make-at-home pork rinds in the interests of completeness and gastronomic history, as torresmo is an important Brazilian dish on its own, and also a component of other traditional dishes, including Brazil's "national" dish feijoada.

I cannot vouch for this recipe, as I've never prepared it myself and am unlikely to do so in the future. I have a feeling that deep-frying pork skin in one's own kitchen would generate an odor that might last just a bit longer than one would want - a week or two perhaps? So, if any of Flavors of Brazil's readers actually does try this recipe, please leave a comment to let me and other readers of blog know how it worked out. I'm very curious - just not curious enough to try it myself.
RECIPE - Pork Rinds (Torresmo)
10 portions

2 lbs (1 kg) unsalted pork belly, skin attached
salt to taste
pinch of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
Cut the pork belly into strips about 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch (1cm x 3 cm).Wash the pork well, drain and let dry completely. Combine salt to taste and baking soda, then season the pork (traditionally, it should be quite salty).

Heat a deep heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and the pork and cook, watching carefully for overheating, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pork skin is lightly golden. Remove the pork skins with a wire strainger, then drain completely on paper towels. Let cool, reserve.

Meanwhile, let the lard remaining in the saucepan cool slightly - it should remain liquid. Strain it through several layers of cheesecloth in a sieve into a large mixing bowl.

Place the strained liquid lard into a clean heavy saucepan and heat until hot but not smoking. In batches, return the pork skins to the fat, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Let the pork skins fry for 3 or 4 minutes until they become a rich golden color. Remove them with a wire strainer before they darken, and drain as before on a paper towel.

Once drained, they can be served immediately, while still warm. Alternatively, let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Recipe translated and adapted from Cozinha Regional Brasileira by Abril Editora.