If you’re not Southern, you may not have heard of cracklings or better yet, crackling cornbread. Outside the south pork skins are more readily available than cracklings, but with the rise of low carb, Keto and similar eating plans there has been an expansion of availability and cracklings are more readily available for folks looking for higher fat and lower carb foods. So, what’s the difference you might ask?
Cracklings, sometimes called the cousin of pork rinds, have a little fat left on the skin, whereas pork skins (rinds) do not and are just puffy fried skin.
There are 2 kinds of cracklings. Hard and tender. Hard are just that, and where the name “crack”ling comes from as legend has it many a folk have cracked a tooth eating those. What you want to use are tender cracklings, fried after rendering. When added to cornbread, you get delicious chewy bits of this pork baked right in! You don’t have to add honey, but we just think, why not? Sweet… salty… chewy yet moist cornbread. What could possibly be better? Enjoy slathered with butter (or honey butter) alone, or alongside soups like our Roasted Root Vegetable Bisque.
If you can’t find cracklings in your area, guess what? Rays Country Ham has ‘em, so be sure to add some to your order with your country ham.
About 3 cups of pork cracklings*
Oil for greasing skillet
1 15-ounce honey cornbread mix*
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons of bacon grease, optional
Put cracklings in large zippered bag. Crush into smaller pieces (not crumbs).
Preheat oven to 400F.
Grease a baking pan. We used a 12” cast iron skillet we get hot in the oven as it preheats.
Prepare cornbread according to package directions. Stir in cracklings, black pepper and add bacon grease if you have some *You can use comparable amount of your preferred cornbread recipe and drizzle in a few tablespoons of honey.
Bake about 25 minutes or per instructions for the mix you are using.
*Pork Cracklings also available at www.rayscountryham.com
Created by North Carolina’s renowned Home Economist/Recipe Creator