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How to make extra-dry smoked pancetta

Published: 27-Mar-2014 (04:55); Viewed: 2224; Difficulty: 4 out of 10

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How to make extra-dry smoked pancetta
Pancetta is a traditional Italian dish, prepared from the belly pork by curing and spicing mainly with black pepper followed by optional smoking and drying. Pancetta can be served as an individual dish (cold cut) with rye bread and extra virgin olive oil, or it can be used as an ingredients of other dishes, for example in pizzas or as an extra flavour for stew etc.

Usually, pancetta should be cooked from skinless belly pork and dried rolled, but these rules are not very strict.

step-by-step instructions

  1. Because, the proper dry smoked pancetta can be stored for a very long time and maturing time is very long, it is better to cook it in bulk. All ingredients are given for 1 kg of belly pork.
    • 1 kg – belly pork.
    • For curing:
      • 30 g salt
      • 6 g cure#1 salt (6% sodium nitrite and 94% table salt)
      • 12 g sugar
      • 2 bulb of garlic
      • 20 g black peppercorn
      • 9 g juniper berries
      • 4 bay leaves
      • ½ nutmeg
      • 5 g thyme
      • 2.5 g rosemary
    • For drying and smoking:
      • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
      • Aromatic wood chips for smoking (cherry, oak, hickory)

  2. Roast dry black peppercorn and juniper berries. This is not very necessary, but the aroma of extra roasted black pepper is stronger.

  3. Ground all spices and mix them together.

  4. Cover chunks of belly pork with prepares spices and salt and slightly rub them in to a surface.

  5. Wrap them into a cling film, or even better to pack them into a vacuum packs. If you do salt large amount of bely pork, then it is possible to store in the large inert containers (plastic or stainless steel). Salt for a week in the fridge.

  6. After salting, remove all packaging from the meat. Wash away all spices from the surface of the meat. Dry the surface with paper towel or leave to dry in the fridge for few hours.

  7. Dust each side of the cured bely pork with freshly grounded black pepper. Tie with butcher strings.

  8. Smoke for about 24 hours in the the cold smoke chamber. After smoking, hand this meat in a dry dark room to dry out. Dry until the meat loose about 30% of its weight for the standard dryness, or 50% for extra-dry pancetta.



tips and tricks

  • Remove skin before serving
  • Brush slices of pancetta with extra virgin olive oil for better taste.
  • Serve with rye bread
  • When pancetta dried to a proper state, wrap it into a backing or greaseproof paper.
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tags: belly pork; cold meat; italian cuisine; pork

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