Thursday, April 14, 2016

Recipes by Roy Clark: Crackling Bread; Pluck

Roy Clark's Crackling Bread

1 cup cracklings
2 cups cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
About 1 cup buttermilk

Combine cracklings and dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Stir in buttermilk until ingredients are barely moistened. Turn batter into a greased 8-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated 425 degrees F. oven 20-25 minutes (or until brown). Serve at once. Makes 1 square loaf.

Thoughts: Cracklings are the crisp bits of pork fat left after rendering lard. To make cracklings, cut pork fat into 1/2-inch cubes and cook slowly on top of the stove in frying pan (or in a slow oven), pouring off the liquid fat every few minutes until only the crisp brown cracklings remain. Salt pork or the fat trimmings from a ham will work.

Roy says, "I generally use self-rising cornmeal but if that's not available, the regular cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda combination works fine. You can use one or more cups of cracklings, according to your tastes, and you do need buttermilk."

Roy Clark's Pluck

Roy Clark advises, "You can make pluck even if you don't butcher. If you can find a haslet, that is, the whole liver, heart and google (windpipe) of the hog." Cut liver and heart into small pieces and leave google whole. Place all the meat in a pot along with a piece of fat, preferably a piece of hog jowl, 2 pods of red pepper, sage, salt and black pepper to taste. Add enough water to barely cover. Simmer ingredients very slowly until it cooks to a mush. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes. Remove google before serving.

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