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Old 01-25-2010, 03:11 PM
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Default 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 :-) .
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2010, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Pancetta

Cool! Looks great! Really nice fat/meat ratio!
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Pancetta

What seasoning did you use?

Rossco
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:07 PM
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Default 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 ... :-)
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Pancetta

Those pictures look really, really good! There is not much better than fresh Pancetta!!!
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:08 PM
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Default 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
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Pancetta

Quote:
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
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Pancetta

Your ingredients do not list a nitrite cure (Prague Powder, instacure, etc). Did you use one at all?
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Pancetta

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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.

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Last edited by Pdiff; 01-29-2010 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:26 PM
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Default 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...
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