Adventures in Pork: Pancetta Update

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Whole pancetta, plain (without peppercorns), after 14 days of air-drying

You might recall that the prosciutto and pancetta (and guinciale) from Salumi were placed in the Curebrewzer to hang approximately two weeks ago. Yesterday, I made Boeuf Bourguignon for Sunday Family Dinner, which calls for pancetta, or bacon.

Upon removing one of the pancettas from Curebrewzer, I noted that it is already much firmer than when I tied it up and placed it to hang. It has reduced somewhat in overall appearance and volume. I should have weighed it before hanging to compare. The weight of this pancetta (one of four) is now approximately 38 ounces.

Pancetta, cross-section

Pancetta, cross-section

I have two things to report at this time: first, the cure was successful. I sautéed a couple pieces before using it in my recipe. The pancetta has a wonderful mild flavor. The quality of the pork shines through: rich, flavorful, earthy, not eclipsed by any particular seasoning in the cure. It is not overly salty (you might also recall that I missed a step in preparing the pancetta to hang: I forgot to rinse the cure off the exterior before rolling and tying. Mr. Karl pessimistically ventured to guess that the mistake might result in an oversalted final product. So there, Mr. Karl.

The second thing is that I think the pancetta would benefit from a bit more air-drying. It was more firm than where it began, but it will last longer if it is allowed to dry longer. I will hang for at least another week.

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