Several months ago I had read on another blog about noodles made from pork skin that the author had savored while in my city (Portland, Oregon) at a locale that I had not heard of till that point. Hubby and I, not many months later, had the oportunity to have a date night where we had toodled off to try the faire at Ned Ludd where we had a smattering from all sections of the menu to a taste bud delight. The one thing that completely blew to top off though was those noodles what I had been anticipating as they did not disappoint in the slightest other than maybe being so rich and delectable to make small servings a necceisity. Once having tried these though I knew I had to try my hand at making them myself as the potential for other meals started percolating through my mind. I did a search online and did not find much, although I did find one blog that had some potential that I forgot about till after I started my version… I really wish I had remembered about it this weekend before I started cutting the skin but lesson learned and I will make note of what I will try different the next time, as there will be many next times for this one as all I can say is yummmmm!
Obviously, you need to start with pig skin. I decided to to try adding a little flavor as well as skin has the under-current of flavor but it is very very mild. I had no pork stock made-up but I did have beef so I decided to try that this round. I also added a huge sliced onion and a handfull of dried mushrooms, and a lump of non-rendered leaf lard. I will add a batch of slow roasted garlic next time.
So one of the first things I will do differently is I will pre-cook my skin before trying to slice as this stuff is a big ginormous pain in the rear to do before. Another is take the time to make a strong pork stock instead of wimping out and using beef as the flavor was just not strong at all.
The first thing I did this round was to slice all my skin into thick noodle shape. In the future just trade this step for after slow cooking into a gelatinous yummm. Always remember to have the right knives on hand for the job that fit your hand the best way you can find. Have your knives SHARP and in good repair or you will be working way harder than you need to as well.
Once I had my “noodles” cut I dumped them into a vacu-seal bag with the slice onions (remember to add garlic next time), handfull of dried mixed mushrooms, a lump of fat (in this case a chunk of leaf lard although back fat would work well also), covered with stock then sealed. I made a large batch because I wanted leftovers for other meal ideas but I would guess about 1# would serve 4 pleasantly and when I say 4 I really mean 4 “real” servings as when we eat hear we mean it.
Once you have your bag sealed, put it in a crockpot and cover with water, plug in and set to low. Once it is going forget all about it for about 24 hours as this stuff is going to need to slowly get mouth wateringly tender. In the future, I will skip the bag part and just dump all my goodies into a crock to make a LARGE amount to play with over time as I am thinking it should freeze alright (I will know for sure in a week when I take my test batch out to thaw for pho soup). When your “noodles” look more like gelatine than skin pull out and slice if you have not already.
I poured off most of the stock, put a small layer of more mushrooms into a skillet with bacon fat,
dumped the “noodles” in,
Added diced meat from smoked ham hock (1 hock per # of “noodles”),
Stired and simmered until the juiced had reduced by about half. Next time I make a skillet of this, I will take most of the juices and make a true simple reduction sauce adding some fire roasted tomatoes for a larger burst of flavor.
For our supper, I paired the noodles with slow roasted lamb chops that I had covered with fresh mushrooms, diced onion, dots of butter, and a mega amount of fresh ground pepper. I covered the roaster and put in the oven to cook at 350 degrees F for about an hour till tender and juicy.
While everything was cooking, I diced kalarabi, sweet baby peppers, cucumbers, carrots, celery, and persimons to go on a side salad.
Also made a dressing from homemade mayo to which I added a bunch of onion, garlic, and italian seasoning that I mixed up.
Once everything was done, we sat down to a feast that was filling and satisfying to all. When asked there were very few suggestions on how to make this better beyond adding garlic as we tend to consider garlic as its own food group that should be consumed at almost every meal.
*** if you do not have a sealer, try just putting strain in the crock pot.
I would love to see meal ideas from you and your experiences of pork noodles so leave a comment, thanks.