Monday, November 21, 2011

Home-cured pancetta - Part II



For those who missed my first post on this topic, here's the link - Home-cured pancetta Part I.

For those who are still wondering what the heaven a pancetta is, click here - Word of the Week: Pancetta.

And for the faithful followers who have written to say you want to know the progress and outcome of this culinary experiment, here's an update. In the last post, I showed you a picture of how the cured pork belly looked after Day 4 - that was where we left off.

And now, Day 10 or 11, frankly, I lost count and didn't date it because it doesn't really matter.

Day 10 in the fridge, or was it 11.
After ten days of curing this in the fridge, I remove and rinse thoroughly under running water, then pat dry with kitchen towels.
The underside has also turned dark.
Now, technically speaking, I have a pancetta in my hands. But all that is only Part I.

Having rinsed it off the curing mixture, I now proceed to Part II where I rub a spice mixture and leave it in the fridge for a month or so. Yes, a month. Troublesome but also kinda fun to keep this in suspense. 

Some people have a curing chamber where they can control the temperature and humidity. For enthusiastic amateurs and virgin chefs like me, I will make do with leaving it in the fridge. I've researched many sites and found this to be acceptable too. 

So I prepare my spice rub here.
My spice rub consists of Oregano, thyme, tarragon, chilli flakes, paprika, chilli powder, black pepper -
my own concoction of whatever I have in the cupboard that I want to get rid of, no quantity, just an estimate of what is enough to cover the pork belly fully.
I keep staring rudely at the different herbs and spices and they don't mind, something I couldn't do to my colleagues in the corporate world.
I spread the spice rub on a flat porcelain casserole and rub them all over porky.
I also stuff them into the scores I cut.
Tried to cover them as fully as possible but they keep dropping off.

So this is how it looks just before I cover them and pop them back into the fridge for a whole month. I'll give you a sneak preview around mid-December before I take off on a tour in Tuscany, Italy where I get to see first-hand how the experts there cure their meat. I'll be posting actively then, so do look out for it! (Readers in Europe, write to me!)

Cheers for now, and thanks for the likes and follows!

2 comments:

  1. Enjoy ur trip.
    U can send ur pancetta to me, I can help you babysit it.
    When you are back, I hope it's still in good condition. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah.. Wendy..yes, that's what I need, a pancetta-sitter! How I wish you were my neighbour next door!

    ReplyDelete

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