Chicharrones (Render Pork)

Chicharrones is another Peruvian Typical Food, that takes me back to many parties where we either were celebrating a birthday, a Father's or Mother's Day, or a simple Sunday, or in one special occasion that I committed truancy and missed school accompanied of no other than my boyfriend, husband today; who of course took me to the location where my dad was working. My dad was building a roof. My dad always laugh, he saw us there and we just smile and I said: "I don't wanted to go to school today". Just that ! was celebration material for him. He put money in my hands and send me and Jose to buy pork, potatoes and I am positive we also got something for salad, as well as ice cream, my dad's favorite as well as mine and Jose. By the time I was back, he had a huge fire made with all the woods he could spare, I think there was the bottom of an oil barrel and he had or improvised a pot. That is the day I learned to do "Chicharroncitos" like he called them. The smell is something I can not describe with no other word that "succulent", meat slowly cooking. In time other people have show me more ways, but they are all similar. But the very best is the one make on wood fire, by my dad.

You will need,

1. A large heavy bottom pot that will hold all the pieces of the of pork to be cooked. Have in consideration that they have to cook with out been on top of each other, for better rendering.

2. Place pork in pot and cover with water. Sprinkle table salt and start cooking. Cover and after a while crack the lid open just a bit.

3. Check, turn pieces and cover again. When it looks cooked, uncover and add 1 spoonfull of lard (only if your pork does not have the fat).

4. The water will consume after a while, during this time keep an eye on it, turn pieces constantly.

5. When all is left is the fat, turn the heat down and start rendering the fat, turn pieces almost constantly to allow the pork to get a nice even golden color.

6. When all looks well golden, and most of the fat in the pork has render, turn it off.
Eat your chicharrones with golden potatoes, and a tomato, onion and mint salad. Like they do in Cuzco.

Or, eat chicharrones the Lima way, inside a crusty bread, with slices of camote frito ( sweet potatoes, sliced in circles and fried) and an onion relish (check Manuelito's Onion Relish recipe). Great for Lunch or Breakfast.


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