Pork Crackling Reindeer Christmas Decoration

Making Perfect Pork Crackling Christmas Decorations

These pork crackling Christmas decorations are a clear example of how it’s becoming harder and harder for me to think of things related to pork crackling that I can write about. It’s increasingly obvious to me at least, that I am clutching at straws, looking, searching, thinking of the next stupid idea. Well, fear not, this is not the last time we will do something like this, and as time goes by, I’m sure this won’t be the most ridiculous effort! Merry Christmas.

The Idea (part 1)

Raw pork rind is a total nightmare to cut. Even with a very sharp knife, we suggest that you take extreme care, or better still don’t even try to cut it up. As we found out with our recent recipe on how to make pork crackling in a frying pan (which was a bigly success), we outlined the perfect technique to make the pork rind easier to cut. If you haven’t read the method, click here to see what we found out.

In a nutshell, we now suggest that you cook the rind for a short while in the microwave before putting in the hot oven. It makes the rind so soft that you can easily cut it up into any size pieces with a pair of scissors.  This information sat, brewed, stewed, festered in the back of my tiny brain, gathering dust, hoping for later use.

The Idea (part 2)

So as Christmas 2019 approached, I noticed that there were lots of people on social media doing festive related, Christmassy things. We did (are doing) a daily Instagram post of beer & scratchings, a sort of visual advent calendar. It’s flipping hard to find 25 different beers and 25 different bags of pork scratchings (but many many thanks to Ray Gray Snacks who inadvertently saved the day with a recent delivery).

With these two pieces of information and seeing my Christmas tree going up, it hit me. I can now easily cut and shape the raw pork rind into some common Christmas decoration shapes and things. A tree, a star, a snowman and maybe even a reindeer. Well, Why not? Life is short. I’ve not seen it before. There’s some pork rind in my freezer. I’ll give it a go. So here it is, enjoy the method, and love the results.

How to make Perfect Pork Crackling Christmas Decorations

This method is not going to be very wordy as we have covered the major points in either of these earlier methods:
The classic method –
How to make Pork Scratchings
This method includes more info about our microwaving pre-cooking method –
How to make pork crackling in a frying pan

How to make Perfect Pork Crackling Christmas Decorations

Simply cut the pork rind into fun festive shapes before cooking!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Any, Snack
Cuisine: British, Snacks
Keyword: at home, Christmas, Christmas Decorations, oven, pork crackling
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 625kcal
Cost: 72p

Equipment

  • Microwave
  • Scissors
  • Roasting Dish
  • Oven

Ingredients

  • 1.60 kg Pork Rind for Crackling Raw
  • 200 ml Sunflower Oil (or other oil/fat)
  • 5 g Salt The finer the better (you'll need less)
  • 5 g Black Pepper

Instructions

Frozen Raw Pork Preparation

  • We had this in the freezer, ready for emergencies.
    Frozen Raw Pork Rind
  • The tattoo is a reminder that this was once a pig.
    Frozen Raw Pork Rind

The Pan

  • We are using a large enamel pan today.
    A Roasting Pan
  • Add quite a lot of oil this time. We want to almost cover the rind. This will help with even cooking because we don't want too many curly bits.
    Pouring Sunflower oil into a pan
  • We now often season the oil with salt and ground black pepper. This creates a good base for any additional flavourings.
    Pan, Salt, Pepper, Oil

Microwave the Pork Rind

  • Defrost the pork rind first. Do it a few times, whilst turning the rind so that it thaws evenly.
    Raw pork crackling
  • Once defrosted, cook on full power. Only for 30 seconds at a time. Keep moving it for even cooking.
    Raw pork crackling partially cooked

The Cutting Tools

  • Scissors will be fine for this task. No need for the big guns (Stanley Knife) because the rind is nice and soft.
    Tools needed
  • This might seem like an odd implement for the kitchen, but we need to make some small holes for the Christmas ribbon!
    Leather belt hole punch
  • We like to cut ut the tattoo bit and cook as a whole piece.
    Raw pork crackling ready to cut up

Cutting the Pork Rind

  • No need to show the process. Just cut it up into the shapes you expect to find at Christmas. A Snowman, A Christmas Tree, A Star and a Reindeer.
    Raw pork crackling Christmas decorations ready to cook
  • We had a lot of little bits left over after cutting out our festive shapes. So we cut these into randomly sized small pieces.
    Raw pork crackling Christmas decorations ready to cook

Cooking in the Oven (Pre-heat to 200 degrees centigrade)

  • Add the rind to the dish. Use a wooden spatula to move the pieces around and coat them with oil as evenly as you can.
    Raw pork crackling Christmas decorations in a pan
  • We find that if you open the oven often, the moisture comes out of the oven in a big hot steamy cloud. Don't stand too close.
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations in a pan
  • Stir the pieces each time you open the oven for more even cooking
    Pork crackling in a pan
  • As time goes by, you will see the pieces change colour and start to bubble up.
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations in a pan
  • Pork crackling Christmas decorations in a pan
  • There's the little tattooed piece!
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations in a pan

Nearly Done

  • They are about done now.
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations in a pan
  • No need to try a piece, it will be chewy.
    Pork crackling Christmas snowman decoration in a pan
  • Don't try to cook them too much, you will burn them.
    Pork crackling Christmas reindeer decoration in a pan
  • Pork crackling Christmas tree decoration in a pan
  • Pork crackling Christmas tree & star decoration in a pan

Post Cooking

  • Once cooked, get them out of the roasting dish. Put them on to some kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations
  • Some bits are more bubbly than others. Don't worry, if you have done it right, it will all be crunchy when cool.
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations
  • I used a thin pointy knife to open up the holes.
    Pork crackling Christmas snowman decoration
  • The holes could have been a little bigger.
    Pork crackling Christmas tree decoration
  • A triumph.
    Pork crackling Christmas reindeer decoration

Add some Ribbon

  • I only had pink available, it will have to do for now.
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations ready to hang

Hang on the Christmas Tree

  • A Star.
    Pork crackling Christmas star decoration on a Christmas tree
  • A Christmas Tree
    Pork crackling Christmas tree decoration on a Christmas tree
  • A Reindeer.
    Pork crackling Christmas reindeer decoration on a Christmas tree
  • A Snowman.
    Pork crackling Christmas snowman decoration on a Christmas tree
  • Totally Ridiculous!
    Pork crackling Christmas decorations on a Christmas tree

Post Production Notes

I Advise making these a few days before Christmas Day.
Put the finished product in a plastic box and sit it on some kitchen paper.
Then put it in the fridge, this will now keep for maybe 5 days without going stale.
Then On Christmas morning, and no earlier, bring it out and hang it on the tree for everyone to see.
If you have family that like pork crackling, you may want to take a photo or two before everyone arrives and you notice that your tree is starting to look very bare!

Merry Christmas Pork Lovers.

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