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gainphile

GainPorkâ„¢ the minimalist crispy skin pork

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I've cooked this for a few occassions and generally people like it. So this is how it's done

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Like a good gainclone amplifier, the ingredients are minimal:

- Pork belly, salt

- chinese wine (optional).

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  • Buy 1kg pork belly from the local butcher, and do not ask him to score. Do not wash.
  • Score into squares so it's easier to cut later (and let the fat cook the skin). Not too deep, and should not touch the meat part.

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  • Sprinkle salt (can be normal salt/sea salt) and cover with paper towel for 5 minutes. The salt will suck the moisture out of the skin, and the paper towel will suck even more. Do this twice to get extra-dry skin which is the prime requirements for "crackling"

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  • Sprinkle salt throughout the prepared meat
  • Pre-heat oven to 225-230 °C and put the meat low enough to allow even distribution of heat. Use top heater only.

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  • Cook for 10-15 minutes. It should come out like the picture above.
  • Optionally brush a bit of Chinese cooking wine on the skin part (not too wet!). Normally I use paper towel to do this and not a brush. Sprinkle bit more salt and back in the oven.

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  • Continue to cook at 225-230 °C for another 10-15 minutes until the skin all crackles like above. Observe closely! as the transition between well-crackling and burnt black is very quick.
  • Once the skin is all blistered and you see a hint of burnt section, set the oven temperature down to 120 °C and continue cooking for 45-60 min. This is to allow the meat to cook.

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  • Once done, put in a plate and leave alone for 20 minutes. Do not be tempted to cut before this time as it will be too juicy and ruins the dryness of crackling. Do not wrap in foil.

There you go... and eat in moderation (if you can)

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Definitely giving this one a go. Thanks so much for posting this! Crackling can be hit and miss sometimes, that looks like a surefire way to get it spot on

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Looks good gainphile! :) I think the Chinese version normally has 5-spice powder in it though.

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For a variation, lightly dust Asian five-spice powder and poke several thin slivers of garlic into the meat to marinade overnight - steam for ~30-45 minutes until skin is soft.....remove and allow to cool for ~20 min uncovered - this helps the skin to dry.

Using a paddle with lots of fine nails hammered through, repeatedly tap the softened skin to create heaps of fine holes....rub salt in generously and bake as above (but less time).

The steam/bake technique will help keep the meat tender/moist with a finely textured crackle. Serve with fruity sauce: plum, apple, HP brown sauce....

Edited by xtrachewy

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Ahhh, the secret to good crackling huh? I had a delicious and crispy Pork Belly at Cutler & Co the other night. I'll be giving this a go. Thanks :)

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Ahhh, the secret to good crackling huh? I had a delicious and crispy Pork Belly at Cutler & Co the other night. I'll be giving this a go. Thanks :)

The 1 kg steak (shared b/w two), cooked for 1 hr at Cutler & Co was tender in the middle with a proper dark crust.....much better than Rockpool.

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That looks fantastic GP! Unfortunately though my new food regime would not allow me to even smell it.

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The crackling is one thing, which I found out not too difficult to get. But there are different grade of crackling. In this case I have sacrified lightness of crackling to success rate. Also there is a certain grade of dryness into the meat which should not be the case.

Regarding the additional spices, I found them make the food yummy but also lose its "porkiness". So it's a matter of taste like eating fries with sauce.

This little place at Elizabeth st. is currently my benchmark. The dish is called "Crispy skin pork with vegetable on rice". Repeat that a few times :). Do not go there during lunch time due to long queue.

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the MIL swears by leaving the pork belly uncovered in the fridge overnight after salting to maximise the drying out, so I will try the paper towel trick and see how it compares as 24hr notice is far too much forethought/planning for me :D thanks for the tip

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Gave it a bash tonight.

Got some Trunkey Farm Pork from Orange and heaped on the Maldon salt.

Ate it with roast potatoes and veges and a very nice 2006 Main Ridge Half Acre Pinot Noir.

Yummo, the meat was so moist and tender and the crackling just the right crunchy consistency. (my arteries are having a stop work meeting as a type...)

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