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Pancetta - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Pancetta

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  • Pancetta

    Just finished the drying cycle for a couple of pancetta. I could never find any around here that wasn't sliced see-through thin and many recipes call for thick diced. It came out great. The recipe recommended drying at 60* F, which I tried for a day, but I got too paranoid, so I finished it off with a 2 week period hiding in the gas grill. It was 30-40 outside and the grill kept the animals out. Nice stack of pancetta in the freezer now :-) .
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Pancetta

    Cool! Looks great! Really nice fat/meat ratio!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pancetta

      What seasoning did you use?

      Rossco
      / Rossco

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pancetta

        The recipe came from here, but my searching around the ether found that these are pretty standard ingredients: Salt, of course, garlic, brown sugar, pepper, juniper, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and nutmeg. A one week refrigerated cure with these and then a two week hanging dry out. I probably over did the tying. For some perverse reason, I seem to enjoy tying roasts etc. The dogs always keep a wary eye on me when I get the string out ... :-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pancetta

          Those pictures look really, really good! There is not much better than fresh Pancetta!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pancetta

            So there is no cooking/smoking involved?? Do you just put it in the fridge along with spices etc and that cures it?

            I have made quite a bit of biltong/jerky in the past and apart from the spicing, that requires drying which has a preserving effect, but haven't heard of just leaving stuff in the fridge to achieve this. Does it not absorb other flavours from the fridge (like uncovered water does for example)?

            Rossco
            / Rossco

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pancetta

              Originally posted by heliman View Post
              So there is no cooking/smoking involved?? Do you just put it in the fridge along with spices etc and that cures it?

              I have made quite a bit of biltong/jerky in the past and apart from the spicing, that requires drying which has a preserving effect, but haven't heard of just leaving stuff in the fridge to achieve this. Does it not absorb other flavours from the fridge (like uncovered water does for example)?

              Rossco
              The fridge cure part is similar to American bacon. I liberally apply the cure mix, stuff it in a large zip lock bag and lay it flat on a sheet pan in the fridge. It gets flipped every day and will start to weep, collecting liquid in the bag. After a week, it is removed, rinsed well, rolled as tightly as possible and tied and hung to air dry for two weeks. My house was too warm, so I dried in my gas barby outside. It doesn't pick up flavors (if anything, it imparts them on other fridge items :-) .

              American bacon is smoked, which I do as well, and obviously not rolled. The pancetta is just dried and may be rolled or not.

              Pdiff

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pancetta

                Your ingredients do not list a nitrite cure (Prague Powder, instacure, etc). Did you use one at all?
                My Oven Thread:
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pancetta

                  Originally posted by DrakeRemoray View Post
                  Your ingredients do not list a nitrite cure (Prague Powder, instacure, etc). Did you use one at all?
                  Yes, sorry. I didn't mention that, as Rossco was asking about seasoning, but it is important! I used the recommended amount of pink salt that I picked up at my butchers ... I was not comfortable with having the meat "hang" around for a couple of weeks without it.

                  Pdiff
                  Last edited by Pdiff; 01-29-2010, 02:24 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pancetta

                    My understanding is that is really crucial for safety when curing meats. I have been wanting to try to cure some pancetta myself. I made some bacon last year that was really good...
                    My Oven Thread:
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pancetta

                      This sounds rather complicated now. What sort of safety risks are involved? Do you risk getting food poisoning ... or worse?

                      Rossco
                      / Rossco

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pancetta

                        I can't speak authoritatively to the safety implications (I've made plenty of bacon, including pancetta, both with and without pink salt)... but without curing salt the bacon never tastes or looks quite right.
                        Last edited by BrianShaw; 01-30-2010, 12:27 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pancetta

                          Rossco, I wouldn't worry about the safety issue, just find a reliable recipe and follow the directions. Many people make American style smoked bacon without the pink salt preservative as they are cured in highly salted environments and are usually then "cooked" a bit while smoking and immediately frozen or refrigerated. The results, however, without the pink salt will turn grayish during cooking, which many of us aren't used to seeing in cooked bacon . Pink salt, BTW, is regular salt with a small percentage of sodium nitrate (5-6%) added. It is dyed pink to distinguish it from regular salt. It is easily available online or locally if you have a good butcher or game processor around. You'll typically use a small amount per recipe.

                          In the case of the pancetta, I decided that, since it is not cooked, and it stays in an unrefrigerated environment for such a long time, I'd go ahead with the P Salt. The recipe I posted suggests drying at 60*F, and some have reported going as high as 70*F, but that seemed like it was just asking for trouble. The temps outside here were running 30 - 40*F (very mild winter!) so I put it under cover of the grill. A frig would work as long as you kept it well aerated with good circulation. Some people go as far as using one of those small refrigerated wine cabinets the big box stores often carry. For me, the grill solution worked and was safe and sound. Well, mostly ... I did have a few sleepless nights after my niece crossed paths with a bobcat in our barn and I kept imagining it trying to get into the grill, but that's, as they say, another story .

                          Think about starting with some smoked bacon. It's an easy process and your family will never look at you the same after you throw an 11 lb slab of pork belly on the counter . The basic recipe I use came from here . Smokers can be dedicated units (Big, Little, and Mini Chief products are excellent), or as simple as an electric burner and some flower pots (see Alton Brown on that one).

                          Pork: It's great stuff!!

                          Pdiff
                          Last edited by Pdiff; 01-30-2010, 02:05 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pancetta

                            Originally posted by Pdiff View Post
                            Smokers can be dedicated units (Big, Little, and Mini Chief products are excellent), or as simple as an electric burner and some flower pots (see Alton Brown on that one).
                            Although real smoke is best, I sometimes shortcut: liquid smoke and oven roast in 200 deg oven, on a rack, to 150 deg internal temp.

                            That's a very interesting site. Other recipe sources are Michael Ruhlman's Charcauterie book and the sausage book from Sausagemaker in Buffalo.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pancetta

                              I've heard about the liquid smoke, but never tried it. Need to do so sometime. Do you dry the bacon some before the "smoking" and how much do you use?

                              Comment

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