Getting ready to prepare chicharrones

Getting ready to prepare chicharrones by Rudy Girón

As I explained before, carnitas is the Guatemalan Spanish word for deep-fried chunks of pork meat. Chicharrones is the word for pork rinds which still keep a little bit of meat or fat. Chicharrines are pork rinds made from just the pork skin, no fat or meat left on the chicharrines (these are very crunchy). You can also find costilla, pork ribs, prepared pretty much the same way.

This is how to make chicharrones, chicharrines, carnitas and costilla. First buy the best quality pork skin, meat and ribs. Cut all of it into fist-size pieces. Let all the meat marinate over night with salts and spices in the refrigerator. Next day, set the fire and pour chicharrones into the caserola grande, large frying pot. Constantly stir the meats so they don’t stick to the pot. The chicharrones and carnitas are normally cooked in about 30 minutes, but they keep it on the frying pot for another 15 to 30 minutes so it gets a golden color and a toasty texture. The same applies for chicharrones, chicharrines, carnitas and costilla (ribs). Normally, 25 lbs. of meat turns into 15 lbs. of final chicharrones and carnitas.

When was the last time you had carnets, chicharrones, or costilla?

Guatemalan Cuisine: Chicharrones Guatemalan Cuisine: Carnitas

© 2012 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Exactly the way it’s done! Great slice of life!

    • How do you know Michelle, do you know how to prepare chicharrones? How?

  • El Canche

    I used to process over 600 lbs of “cueros” and 400 lbs of carnitas a day on Saturdays and Sundays at meat processors in Guate, back in the 80’s. We would have big lines of people waiting for the chicharrones and carnitas to come out! We had a deli in Antigua for a while called Dixi Deli…probably no one remembers it now. I think this is Guatemala’s favorite weekend food ! My butchers would never let women stir the chicharrones,,,can any of your readers tell me why?

    • According to the chef I just asked, it’s Guatemalan *creencias*, but it’s true he continues, if women stir the chicharrones, they turn into a chibola (ball). 😉 1000 pounds is a lot chicharrones and carnitas.

  • El Canche

    You got it in one Rudy; the guys making chicharron would place two small pieces of thread in the shape of a cross on the side of the big “tanque” we used, to cancel out the effect caused by women (“en su ciclo”) glancing into the tank….por si sale “cortado”, or as you put it “formando una chibola”! Strange but true! We were a commercial operation, probably the largest producer of chicharrones in the country at that time. Aaah!….the good old days!

    • You are right though, chicharrones, carnitas, costilla and chicharrines are a favorite for the weekend. Even if your business was a commercial operation, why risk it by not paying attention to the local creencias, right?

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