A case for pork rinds
Are you familiar with pork rinds? I wasn’t until a couple of years ago.
During the transition to the keto diet, I spent a lot of time researching the recipes and adjusting my cooking and purchasing to the new standards. Almost everything was familiar, except pork rinds. I had no idea what they were, how they tasted, and where to purchase them. Until one day, I saw a very small section of them at a local supermarket. My husband was skeptical – there is a flood of products out there with a “keto” label on them, with a mile-long list of ingredients. If you’ve been here before (thank you for coming back!:), you know my cooking is first and foremost simplified. It might be time-consuming every now and then, but it’s always reliant on clean, simple ingredients.
To go straight to the recipe for Pork Rinds Nachos with Ground Beef, click here.
After examining the back of the bag that weighed about a negative one ounce, we were surprised to see that it is nothing but a fried pork skin. Still confused? We were too. But, with their adequate fat and protein content, zero carbohydrates, and a single ingredient, we deemed these trustworthy. Later, at home, they also proved to be delicious, airy, crunchy, bacony clouds of crispy goodness. I am not being literary here, I am describing them as they are. A chip, basically made of bacon, with an open, honeycomb structure, day-old bread-like crisp exterior, subtle meaty smell, and taste. Inexplicable, satisfying simplicity in one bite.
You should be.
As a cook with a passion for developing her recipes, my mind is constantly working on various food combinations, preparations, and ways to present them. After that one bite, I had a non-stop running tab of all the ways I could cook with them.
Including – pork rinds nachos with ground beef.
Why I love this dish:
I love these nachos for the ultimate flavor expo they present every time I make them, no matter the variations. The juicy crumbs of ground beef, generous drips of melted cheese, creamy avocado, and – if you dare – spicy jalapeño. In the picture, you can see I also added thinly sliced radish and tomatoes, for a complete rainbow effect.
Recipe Notes & Possible Variations
You can top them with pretty much anything you like. My favorite way is ground beef, which is what this recipe is for. It’s quick, simple, and cheap. But you can also consider pulled beef, chicken, or pork; fish or shrimp; or even marinated ahi tuna for less common ahi nachos.
Other toppings options are limited by your imagination only. I love making this dish when there are several odds and ends in my fridge that can be used up in this delicious way.
I do make sure to include:
- Cheese sauce (made from scratch in minutes)
- Avocado chunks or guacamole
- Fresh cilantro
Most days, that’s all there is to it and it is perfect. Not to mention, very filling.
And a final note: these will not be piled mile-high as they would be in a restaurant. This is home cooking. This means it’s going to be way better. Because there is going to be an even distribution of crunch per topping ratio and not a dry mountain in the middle.
Pork Rinds Nachos with Ground Beef
- 2 oz ground beef, cooked and seasoned with salt to your liking
- 2 oz pork rinds I love Goya for their clean flavor
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and cubed
- 1 Tb lemon juice
- 1 Tb butter
- 1/4 C shredded Mexican cheese
- 1/4 C heavy cream
- Mexican seasoning if it contains salt, omit additional salt
- jalapeño slices
- radish slices
- cherry tomato halves
- cilantro leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place the pork rinds on the baking dish in a single layer**.
- Top the pork rinds with ground beef and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes. The length depends on your oven so check after 5 minutes. Remove from the oven when you see some pork rinds turn golden.
- Toss the avocado with lemon juice to prevent it from darkening. Set aside.
- While the pork rinds are in the oven, prepare cheese sauce and any of the additional toppings you would like to use.
Melted Cheese Sauce
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- When the butter is hot, add heavy cream and simmer until thickened. You can check it by running the spatula across the bottom. When thickened, it leaves a clean trail before running back together.
- Add the cheese and mix continuously, until combined. It shouldn’t boil at any moment – lower the heat if it does.
- Turn off the heat and season to taste.
- Once you take the pork rinds from the oven, top with melted cheese and toss lightly.
- Top with pieces of avocado and any of the desired toppings.