or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Perfect crackling after reheating pork belly for service? I'm stumped...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Perfect crackling after reheating pork belly for service? I'm stumped...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

My sous and I have been running a few experiments trying to reheat cubes of pork belly for (mock) service and retaining or recreating perfect crackling. We have reheated in sauce and blasted in the salamander, thrown it on the grill skin side down etc. While the meat comes out extremely nice and succulent, we can't seem to get the crackling right. The salamander, for instance, crisps the skin up again, but it becomes very chewy.

 

On the same note I'm still wondering (as in a former thread months ago) how some of you guys keep tender roasts ready for service over a typical period of, say, 2 1/2 hours or so, without overcooking the inside and losing the pink centre, for example in a prime rib roast. I might add that I don't have a convection oven in my kitchen, so for holding anything at the right temperature I have to resort to my steam table. Great for sauces, mash, stews etc., but most cuts of meat will suffer. Perhaps a heat lamp? Although I can't imagine this working for an extended period of time. Or are you all that busy all the time that you just slice and plate and never hold???

 

Thanks for your ideas!

 

Cheers,

Recky

post #2 of 17
From what you describe it sounds like you have the wrong cut for what you're doing.
"Cracklings" are from the skin. This happens while pit grilling an entire hog at once. The skin crisps. In stores we buy cracklings in bags. I believe they are deep fried skin....
I don't believe you can get that texture with the belly meat....Have you tied torching it rather then the salamander?

The best way to hold a large cut of meat for long service time is to cook the roast rare, and finish to order. You may have to stagger cooking multiple roasts during service.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply, ChefRoss!

 

I buy my pork belly with the skin on, and when it comes out of the oven, the crackling, i.e. the crisp skin, is perfect. It's only after reheating in any way, shape or form that the skin goes soft and chewy.

I think, using the word 'crackling' for the crisp skin on a pork roast (as well as the stuff you buy in bags and eat like crisps/chips) may be a British thing.

 

No, I haven't tried the blowtorch yet!
 

post #4 of 17

We slice/portion roasted belly when its cold and just warm/crisp up the slices in a saute pan for pick up.   We really have no issue with keeping a crisp skin that way.

post #5 of 17

i use  a blanco heat box.  they will heat up to 99 *C and it is a good consistant heat.  i serve roasted beireid cooked to 51*C and they hold well in the boxes when the temperture of the box is not more then 55*c.  they dont take up much space in the kitchen and are good for transproting hot or cold Food.  there was a Special offer not too Long ago with GV Partner 350€.  as for the Grammel.  i too have a tough time getting it crispy again.  i have a rational and use the Regeneration program and i find it to work the best.  but mostly i will chop it when it is still crispy and make a Grammel schmultz or Grammel knödel. .  or i bring it home to my wifes father he loves the stuff.

post #6 of 17

As far as I know, once you have achieved perfect crackling on a pork belly, it's impossible (for me at least) to cool down & bring it up to that same level again.  

 

Have you tried slow-cooking it, without crackling the skin, and finishing it during service?  For example, braise it uncovered at a low temp, cool it down, portion, then when you get the order, crisp up the skin in a hot oven.

post #7 of 17

Recky, you're right, the term "crackling" can be taken different ways.  For me, as a Californian, I think of cracklings as fried skin, which is a different process in its self.  I used to work at a New Orleans style restaurant and 'cracklings' were large diced, salted and confit pork belly that we fried on order and tossed in seasoned salt.  The skin was never as crispy as one might optimally want, but delicious nonetheless.

 

However, I have also roasted suckling pigs with vegetables, stock (to come just half way up) and herbs in a covered roasting pan until almost cooked and then when the pig was almost finished, removed the foil top.  The skin was then exposed to heat which dried it out...the most important part to crispy skin.  Once the pig was cooked through, and the skin was brown and dried out we would let the pig cool, pull out all the bones and then press overnight.  After it was cool we would then portion the pig into pieces.   On the order, the pig portion would go into the salamander, skin side up, just to melt the gelatin and allow the juices leave the skin.  Pat the skin dry and then sear in a cast iron pan.  The skin came out crispy and the meat was tender.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eloki View Post

As far as I know, once you have achieved perfect crackling on a pork belly, it's impossible (for me at least) to cool down & bring it up to that same level again.  

 

Have you tried slow-cooking it, without crackling the skin, and finishing it during service?  For example, braise it uncovered at a low temp, cool it down, portion, then when you get the order, crisp up the skin in a hot oven.


eloki, I would think that crisping up already (soft-) cooked skin in the oven to order would take too long. I'd estimate about 20 - 30 minutes at 220°C/400°F. It would also cause the outside of the actual meat to brown and dry out.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyst View Post

We slice/portion roasted belly when its cold and just warm/crisp up the slices in a saute pan for pick up.   We really have no issue with keeping a crisp skin that way.


The best result here so far has been very similar: We've chucked slices of belly on the flat-top grill. Like this, it heats through quickly and the skin remains in good shape. My only gripe was that those slices didn't look very good on the plate. I'd rather serve cubes of pork belly.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacioEpepe View Post

Recky, you're right, the term "crackling" can be taken different ways.  For me, as a Californian, I think of cracklings as fried skin, which is a different process in its self.  I used to work at a New Orleans style restaurant and 'cracklings' were large diced, salted and confit pork belly that we fried on order and tossed in seasoned salt.  The skin was never as crispy as one might optimally want, but delicious nonetheless.

 

However, I have also roasted suckling pigs with vegetables, stock (to come just half way up) and herbs in a covered roasting pan until almost cooked and then when the pig was almost finished, removed the foil top.  The skin was then exposed to heat which dried it out...the most important part to crispy skin.  Once the pig was cooked through, and the skin was brown and dried out we would let the pig cool, pull out all the bones and then press overnight.  After it was cool we would then portion the pig into pieces.   On the order, the pig portion would go into the salamander, skin side up, just to melt the gelatin and allow the juices leave the skin.  Pat the skin dry and then sear in a cast iron pan.  The skin came out crispy and the meat was tender.


That suckling pig sounds very elaborate, yet extremely inviting! :-)

 

I'm really interested in that confit pork belly you mention. Can you tell us more?

post #11 of 17

We take pork belly and cut it into 1 cm by 1.5 cm cubes, salt them and let them sit overnight.  We then warm up some canola oil mixed with lard and add the pork, and braise for maybe an hour and a half in the oven at 325.  The pork should then be cooled to room temp in the fat.  After its cool, then strain and lay on a sheet pan with parchment paper, cool in the walk in.  From there you can fry in 400°F (205°c) oil and season as you wish.  They skin isnt snap-crackly, but its crispy and the fat is melty and the meat is tender.

post #12 of 17
I'm curently slow cooking a belly at the moment. I let it braise in wine stock and veg for 3 hours at 120 Celsius covered tightly with paper and foil then remove the foil and turn the oven up to 140 Celsius for another hour. When its nice a tender ill remove it and let it cool in the juices. After I will press it over night and then portion to 170 grams.
For service I put a bit of oil in a pan then the belly portion skin side up and sprinkle the skin with sea salt. That then goes in the oven at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes I then bring it out and let it rest.
When it comes time to plate I heat up a clean pan with fresh oil when its hot the belly goes in skin side down and the crackle is instant.
post #13 of 17

Have you tried deep frying?. A place I worked at slow-braised their pork belly and cuts it into cubes. they then deep-fry it to order and the skin is crisp while the meat still stays nice and tender.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Recky View Post

On the same note I'm still wondering (as in a former thread months ago) how some of you guys keep tender roasts ready for service over a typical period of, say, 2 1/2 hours or so, without overcooking the inside and losing the pink centre, for example in a prime rib roast. I might add that I don't have a convection oven in my kitchen, so for holding anything at the right temperature I have to resort to my steam table. Great for sauces, mash, stews etc., but most cuts of meat will suffer. Perhaps a heat lamp? Although I can't imagine this working for an extended period of time. Or are you all that busy all the time that you just slice and plate and never hold???

If you have multiple roasts, you can just keep the others out at room temp, wrapped in foil and heat them up when as you need them.  Most places that have roasts uses it as their main selling point so I'd expect them to sell enough that they don't have to hold. Otherwise, a steamtable with a hotel pan at low heat (50~60C) meat covered with foil would be your best luck.

post #15 of 17

Might not be the solution you're looking for, but I will give you one.

 

Seperate the skin you want to have crispy, and the meat. Cut the skin into the size you want it, and dry it in the oven and deep fry it later.

It will give you crackling skin. You can do the same with skin from fish, chicken, etc....

 

Good luck. 

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey, ljokjel!

 

That's exactly the method I eventually figured out for myself! Ever since, I've successfully done pork roasts etc. without detriment to the crackling.

 

Thanks,

Recky

post #17 of 17
I have no idea on how i got the idea of reviving this dinosaur of a thread.
Good to hear you cracked the code, even though im three years late.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Perfect crackling after reheating pork belly for service? I'm stumped...