How to Cure and Dry Age Pancetta - Perfect Charcuterie - Making Pancetta at Home!!!
Recipe type: Pork / Curing
Pancetta, or Italian bacon is awesome, with a strong flavor and outstanding aroma. Traditionally eaten uncooked, it can be thinly sliced and lightly fried, or cut into cubes and used to flavor soups, pastas and stews.
- 2.25kg Pork Belly, bone in, skin on
- 5ml Garlic Powder
- 28g Prague Powder
- 10g Demarara Sugar
- 8g Cracked Black Pepper
- 4g Crushed Juniper Berries
- 2 Bay Leaves Crushed
- 2ml Ground Nutmeg
- 2ml Dried Thyme
- 20g Coarsely ground black pepper
- Lie the belly bone-side up on the work surface. Use a sharp knife to lift and cut away the sternum from the ribs.
- Use the knife to lift and work the thin flap of flesh that covers the ends of the ribs.
- Flip the belly over and start slicing the ribs away from the belly, using the bones as a guide for the blade. Once it is mostly freed, flip the belly over and cut through the remaining tissue to free the ribs. Wrap these up and keep them for your next barbecue.
- Now we want to remove the skin, leaving as much fat behind as possible. Start on a long edge. Work the blade in between the skin and the fatty layer and start peeling the skin back.
- Continue until the skin comes free from the belly.
- You can save this to make the most amazing pork crackling.
- I'm going to make 2 Pancetta, one flat, and one rolled, so I'm cutting the belly in half. I'm left with just over a kilogram of belly, giving me 2 pieces just over 500g each.
- For the cure, measure out the Prague powder, Demerara sugar, garlic powder, ground nutmeg, black peppercorns, juniper berries, thyme and bay leaves.
- Place the pepper, juniper berries, thyme and bay leaves in your spice grinder and zap these until fine.
- Combine these with all of the other curing ingredients.
- Sprinkle the curing blend all over the pork belly and press it into the surface of the meat. Transfer the two pieces to vacuum bags and vacpac them good and tight. Date stamp the packets and get them into your refrigerator to cure for a full 7 days.
- After the curing time, the belly will be nice and firm and will have taken on the familiar rosy pink cured color. Wash the meat thoroughly under cold running water. Once all of the curing blend has been removed, dry the meat thoroughly using clean dish towels.
- To prepare the flat Pancetta, rub a generous dose of coarsely ground black pepper into both sides of the meat. Place this on a stainless steel rack.
- To prepare the rolled Pancetta, roll the narrow edge up as tightly as possible, continually crunching it tighter with your fingers as you go.
- Tie the roll with butchers twine. Make the ties as firm as possible to ensure that any air trapped in the roll is forced out. 5 or 6 ties will do the trick.
- Trim of the ends and transfer this to another stainless rack.
- Allow both lots of meat to air-dry at between 13c and 18c, or 55f and 65f, with a humidity between 60 and 70 percent.
- The flat Pancetta needs to dry for 5 to 7 days, while the rolled Pancetta will require 14 to 21 days.
- After 7 days here is the flat Pancetta. Trim off the edge and dice the off-cut to be used in soups, pastas and stews. The balance I am going to shave thinly on my meat slicer. Whatever you don't slice, vacuum pack and refrigerate until required.