cucina bene; mangia bene (homemade pancetta)
I wrote on the 19th about making porchetta, and how we also bought a pork belly from Carlton Farms the same day we picked up the roast for the porchetta. The pork belly is for pancetta which is a type of Italian bacon. What makes it different from American bacon is that it isn’t smoked and it’s typically rolled into a cylindrical shape. Real imported Italian pancetta is hard to get here in the states and most of the domestic versions I’ve tasted have been poor imitations. So, with that said, I am attempting to make my own pancetta. I cured 1/2 of the 9 lb. pork belly I bought for 7 days in the refrigerator, and today have begun the drying process. I rinsed the meat to remove the cure and dried it with paper towels. I seasoned the meat side with cracked black pepper, rolled it into a cylinder, and tied it with butcher’s twine. It’s now hanging in one of the bathrooms upstairs (in the shower) to dry for the next two weeks. We’ll know by the smell how it will turn out, because if it’s good, it will smell sweet. If it goes bad, I think we’ll know. The bathroom is off limits for the next two weeks, by the way. It’s a good thing we have another one upstairs….. Stay tuned……..