Author Topic: Homemade Pancetta  (Read 5233 times)

Offline HaagenDazs

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Homemade Pancetta
« on: August 01, 2010, 05:24:48 PM »
I've had a pork belly in the freezer for a few months and it is time to make pancetta.  As JM says it is the easiest cured meat of all.  I don't have a curing chamber, and that is A-OK according to JM.  Step 1: http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2008/08/pancetta-easiest-cured-meat-of-all.html

A couple of questions though:

#1 JM you say leave the skin on, is that for flavor or what?  There is skin on this piece and I'll leave it but to me it seems like an unnecessary piece that may slow down flavor/cure absorption.  Just curious.

#2 I don't have cure #2.  Is it essential or strongly suggested to curing in this method and in the fridge?  I can always order some but if it is simply an optional thing can I leave  it out and not worry about the shipping time?

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2010, 08:00:44 PM »
1) I leave the skin on mostly to protect it from overdrying to quickly...it won't hurt too much i don't think if you take it off though. Mine is just a theory
2) I would say it's strongly recommended, especially if you'll be dry curing in the fridge, instead of a curing chamber above 40 deg. It's also quite thin, which means it'll dry out to below the water activity level that botulism needs to survive pretty quickly...i would say pancetta and guanciale are one of the few i would personally be ok with doing with curing salt.
3) I'm happy to give you some curing salts for your project if you can meet me at my work (kennesaw) or my house (smyrna).

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 07:38:21 AM »
In the name of avoiding botulism among denizens of F285, I'd be glad to part with a teaspoon (or whatever) of Cure #2 as well. Live near GA Tech, work near Perimeter Mall.

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 10:13:16 AM »
I may take one of you guys up on that, thanks very much!  Worst case I can make homemade botox.  ::)

JM - I'm a little confused, about part #2 you say you would strongly recommend it, but then you say it dries out quickly to the point where botulism isn't a concern.  Wouldn't it be OK without cure #2 then?  Also, did you mean that pancetta and guanciale are one of the few that you would be OK doing without curing salt?  Just a bit confused there. 

I'll PM you guys if I can get out of the dungeons long enough to meet you somewhere.  Given the low price of the stuff I may just buy my own for little things like this.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 10:23:11 AM »

JM - I'm a little confused, about part #2 you say you would strongly recommend it, but then you say it dries out quickly to the point where botulism isn't a concern.  Wouldn't it be OK without cure #2 then?  Also, did you mean that pancetta and guanciale are one of the few that you would be OK doing without curing salt?  Just a bit confused there. 

Yes, pancetta and guanciale, given their large surface to thickness ratio, and if they are made in the fridge (below 40 deg.), are pretty much the only items that i would be OK without curing salts. BUT, i would still prefer to have them...just for safety really.

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 01:46:44 PM »
FYI - I did order a pound of the stuff and it arrived today so I'm in good shape.  Thanks very much for the offers and I'll let you know how it turned out.

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 04:46:19 PM »
Hey JM - I'm coming up on 2 full weeks in the fridge.  The edges are pretty dry and hard and the middle is firm, not squishy.  How much longer should I go?  Any things I should be looking for in particular?  I guess in my novice opinion it appears ready to use or freeze.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2010, 06:57:05 PM »
You can leave it longer, it wint hurt it. It'll intensify the flavors. I'd rather over dry than under. It should feel pretty firm all over.
Once you're ready to use it wrap it in a damp paper towel and put in a zip bag for 24-48 hours to soften the surface from being mummified.

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2010, 09:36:50 PM »
OK that makes sense.  I just figured that because I'm finishing in a fridge versus a curing chamber the variables might be a little different so I thought I'd ask.  I'll go another week at least.  Thanks!

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 10:10:45 PM »
It probablymis usable after 2 weeks in the fridge. It dries much quicker, but if you dot need it, leave it

Offline jimmy

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2010, 02:02:00 PM »
jason - followed your recipe from CM for pancetta as well. Belly hung out in the cure for about 10-12 days (not sure), the other day I rinsed it and it's now sitting on a elevated wire rack in my fridge.

How long do you recommend it stay in there? Could I eat some now?

I saw your note re putting it in paper towel for 24-48 hours once it's ready, thanks for the tip. It already looks very hard on the outside.

I'm still eating off that guincale. Doing all'amatriciana again tonight.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2010, 02:40:28 PM »
jimmy, yeah, it's edible now, it won't hurt you, it's cured at this point. In the fridge it should take 3-4 weeks depending on how thick it is and how dry you want it.

The guanciale i made from Caw Caw is unbelievable. Going to do a blog post in the next few days...

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2010, 04:51:28 PM »
HD, have you tried your pancetta yet?

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2010, 05:12:30 PM »
I have NOT!  Shame on me. :-[   ;)

On Tuesday I portioned it packed it up in food saver bags and put some in the freezer and left 2 chunks in the fridge.  I'm planning on doing pasta carbonara this weekend.  Which brings me to a question, do you just cut off the skin at this point?  I'm not opposed to eating it but it (squeamish alert) was kinda hairy and I imagine it would be a little hard and chewy for something like a pasta dish.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 05:42:57 PM by HaagenDazs »

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Homemade Pancetta
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2010, 12:38:27 AM »
Yeah The skin is inedible and tough. I cut it off as i use it.

 

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