Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Crispy Pata, the Healthier Way
How do you cook crispy pata with less guilt? Use the oven!
No wasted gallons of cooking oil...no need for oversized pots....no splatters!
And you end up with crispy pata that has the crackled look on the skin, which has dripped some of its melted fat onto the pan it sits on (and you can even use the drippings to make pork gravy later)...
How to make crispy pata the healthier way?
This was a eureka moment for us... We were celebrating my friend Fe's birthday party last Saturday. As I said in my previous post, I brought pandan chiffon cake (which Fe and her son love!) Cecilia brought a big chunk of pork pata that she had been cooking since 3:30 am and still had not achieved the crunchy skin stage (we know about the skin being smooth and crunchy on traditional lechon...that's what we wanted to achieve). When we arrived at Fe's house, she was still out WORKING! But she was coming home soon, so we started to fiddle with her oven. We really did not know how to set the digital controls...We placed the pan on the lower third of the oven.
When she came back, we cooked rice...then she noticed the lechon...and that the oven was warm but not baking at that time she checked (off, in other words!). Cecilia went on to say, "Hindi pa malutong yung balat eh. Pano ba gamitin yang oven mo?" Fe checked, and said, "I-broil na lang natin." So she set her oven to broil.
After 5 minutes we took a look and saw what you see in the pictures on the slideshow above.
I then realized...the traditional way to cook chicharon or lechon kawali or crispy pata was to boil the pork/rind first in some mixture of water, vinegar and spices, then dry, then deep-fry. This accidental discovery was the short cut method in that you cook the pork first by roasting for about 3 hours to fully cook it (provided you brined the pork or flavored it somehow with spices prior, or placed spices like lemongrass, bay leaf, peppercorn, etc. underneath the roast while roasting, along with a sprinkle of garlic salt on the skin), then broil to create the crackled effect on the skin. (Did I not post about chicken skin chicharon, where I said I turn it to chicharon by using my nuwave to broil/bake the pre-cooked chicken skin? I also posted about smaller pork roast using the rotisserie after cooking/boiling and letting dry the chunk of pork pata.)
We wolfed down this roast in less than 30 minutes...nagpipigil pa so everyone (including our kids) can have his/her share! The thing was, we did not have Sarsa ni Mang Tomas! So we just made our own alternative dip of vinegar with chili, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
The cut that Cecilia brought had no skin underneath, but if you will try this method using pork pata with skin all around, I suggest that once the "cooking" phase is done and you are ready to broil the pata, use a wire rack to elevate the pata so the underside is open to hot air and is not soaked in juices, then after crisping the top, rotate so you crisp the bottom also (have not tried this, but it is an idea.)
Try it yourself! You won't regret it!