Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pancetta - Ready to use

Sorry for the long delay on posts. I've been really busy at work, and with life, and i've been left with little to no time on weekends for cured meats. It makes me sad. Hopefully i'll post more often after my move in a couple of months. Until then, accept my apologies for the lack of posts.

So, the pancetta is finally ready, actually, it was ready about a week ago. I left it in the curing chamber for 3 weeks, at 55 deg. F and 65% RH. The picture on the left is what it looked like after that period of time. It's lost about 30% of its weight. At this point the pancetta is pretty hard, it's pretty dry and smells great.




The pancetta can be used right away, but i've found that it is better if you wrap it in a damp paper towel and put it in a sealed bag for about a week. This will soften it just a little bit, and make it easier to cut.





After a few days wrapped in a damp paper towel, and then cut this is what the pancetta looks like.
It smells great. Peppery, bayleaf-y, porky, yummy. I've only tasted one slice quickly, so i haven't really used it much, but i can tell it is very peppery, hopefully not too much so. The herbs are strong on it, probably because i caked it on for the drying phase! I'm happy with it, but will know a little more after a cook something with it.

Added 9/20/08 - I used some of this pancetta last night in a pasta..it was GREAT. It's peppery, and bay-leafy. It has the right amount of salt. The flavor is balanced, tending towards black pepper. It's one of the better pancettas i've made. MAKE IT!

6 comments:

liteluvr said...

Glad it turned out as you'd hoped. Been following this one for some time now, hoping to hear the final verdict.

I'm waiting on the temps to drop and I'm going to give some dry curing a shot. I did a cold cured pancetta recently when I did some bacon, and it turned out pretty darn well. Cook up some pasta, fry up the pancetta with some onion, toss in the noodles, a little olive oil with salt and red pepper, and MMMmmm good.

Eric said...

Jason,
When a meat is curing with salt, spices etc in ziplocks, is it OK to keep the meat in a dry-curing chamber that's being maintained at 50-55 degrees or is that too warm? Thanks.
Eric

Jasonmolinari said...

Eric, i think it's best to have it at regular fridge temperatures during the curing. I'm not sure how fast the salt gets absorbed to "protect" the meat versus bacteria getting to it to spoil it.

Van Gearheart said...

Jason

Sorry to report but you've been hit by DocChuck, aka the Tastespotting Stalker. His real name is Charles Treuter.

He is the one posting as both "therealchiffonade" and as "anonymous" with his usual incoherant ranting and signature use of CAPS.

He ruins food blogs, so watch out.

Deep Dish Dreams wrote about him here: http://deepdishdreams.blogspot.com/2008/01/tastespotting-stalker.html

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks for the heads up Van. I'll delete the posts..

Kooper said...

I just finished curing my first Salmon. It tastes great and was very easy to do.

The best thing about curing the salmon is that the results were pretty immediate. For a beginner it was great to get cured salmon in 3 days.

I am going to try a Pancetta this week and possibly a duck breast.