Salt and pepper
 pork belly3 lbs
cut into 1 inch cubes
 baking soda 1/2 tsp
  Oil for frying
 yuca root3 lbs
(about 3-4 roots)
 olive oil2 tbsp
 garlic4 cloves
 dried oregano1 tsp
 tomato paste1 tbsp
 diced tomatoes2 cups
 sweet small chili pepper1 each
minced (or ¼ of bell pepper)
 minced cilantro stems2 tbsp
 bay leaf1 each
 water or stock 1/4 cup
 cilantro 1/4 bunch
 onion1 each
 Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges


Fry basket
fry pot
For the Cracklings
Season cubed pork with salt and pepper and baking soda.
Heat fry oil to 350 F, fry in small batches until brown and crispy about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and season with salt and pepper.
For the Yuca Fries
Heat water in a large stockpot and salt heavily.
Peel yuca by cutting them into 3-4 inch rounds. For each round, gently score the skin lengthwise past the waxy bark and into the white layer of skin from the yuca. The white layer is the same color as the inside, but you'll be able to peel it off.
Split in half crosswise, remove the stringy fiber in the middle, and cut into ¾ inch batons. Boil yuca for 15 minutes, drain and let sit so that the water can be evaporated. The yuca will fray a bit.
While the yuca is cooling and the water is evaporating, heat oil to 350 F in a fryer or large frying pot. Adjust flame to maintain temperature. Add yuca and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and season with salt. Serve with the chicharrones!
For the Salsa Criolla
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, saute onion and peppers until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, dried oregano, and minced cilantro stems and stir until fragrant, add tomato paste and mix for another 2 minutes until caramelized. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and stock and let simmer for at least 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the bay leaf.
Puree the cooled mixture in a blender or food processor. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Mix in chopped cilantro. If you like a spicier sauce, add a pinch of chili flakes or cayenne pepper.