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!