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Homemade Pancetta

Written By Culinary Pen on Monday, May 23, 2011 | 4:48:00 PM

This weekend I tried something different from my normal strategy when it comes to curing pork bellies. Rather than curing them with a dry rub of salt, molasses, and nitrites, I decided to make some pancetta. Unlike bacon, pancetta is not smoked. It's also normally cured with garlic, black pepper, bay leaves, rosemary, and some white wine. And unlike bacon, pancetta is traditionally rolled into a tight cylinder and hung like a salami to cure for 2-4 weeks. this helps to reduce the moisture and intensify the porky flavor.
But when you have a new puppy in the house, you have to make sacrifices. Hanging slabs of raw meat from your ceiling is one of them. So I straddled the fence and just left it uncovered in my refrigerator for 5 days to help dry it out. This isn't a long-term solution, as the low humidity of the fridge will eventually over-dry the surface before the inside cures. But I just wanted to give my pork a small nudge in the right direction.

Now time for a PLT sandwich!
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