Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mad about pancetta

I'm currently mad about pancetta. I'm not mad AT pancetta - I'm just crazy for it.

Isn't it lovely?

Remember when I did all that bacon making? Part of what I cured was their weird curly, round belly piece (as the pigz were so fat!). Usually you take a thin piece of pork belly and roll it up. But I just used the round piece. It was cured in a savory mix of salt and herbs for about 10 days or more. Then I wrapped it in cheese cloth and hung it in the basement. For about a week I eyed it suspiciously... then I took it down and carefully unwrapped it. I was expecting it to be maggot ridden and moldy. It wasn't. It was glorious.

So I immediately sent an email, shrieking my glee, to my pal The Gastronomic Gardener letting him know it worked. He loves bacon like I do - especially making it at home.

Its just beautiful.

Pancetta is usually not smoked but is dry cured. That's right not refrigerated, just hung up to dry. Isn't that weird? But it works. And as Ruhlman says, its not meant to be eaten raw but rather cooked, so provided its done correctly - its a safe process. Everyone ran right out and get his book, Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing right?

Pancetta can be used as a base seasoning for traditional, Italian meat sauces but I admit to just loving it fried up in a pan. For several morning this week I sliced it thick, fried it up in a pan, and had a "PLT" instead of a BLT for breakfast. And I think it will be stunning on the grill or even seared. I love it so much that I have another piece hanging in the basement. And I also have a couple belly pieces in the freezer that are destined for panetta glory.

The next time you are in the deli section look around for the pancetta. See how expensive it is? Sheesh - you can make that at home friends, yes you can.

Happy Friday everyone! Did you see the smoke from my epic burn pile yesterday? Whoot!


darius said...

YUM! I love pancetta and plan to make some with the next belly I get.

freemotion said...

Stunning!!! I just have to get that book....it is on my (long) list of things I want, but it just moved onto my short list of things I need!

David said...

Oh what beautiful streaky porky goodness. Nothing like meat hanging in the basement.

Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) said...

We love our homemade pancetta too. A little bit goes a long way towards flavoring a pan of greens or soup. We typically make a big piece, chop into several smaller chunks, and freeze all but the one we'll use first.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Darius! This was so easy to do - lemme know when you get your belly and we can compare notes.

Yay Free! You must do this

D - it kinda freaks me out to see it hanging in the basement. So far none of it has become a big meat pinata for the cats. But the day is not over.

Hi Rachel! Yep - I sliced mine thick so I can use it a little at a time - then froze it. This big piece tho, I just kept in the fridge. It was gone in no time.

Chai Chai said...

A few recipes for you to copy:



Ohiofarmgirl said...

CC - you set off a bacon firestorm over on fb.. whooot!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...