Pancetta Overload

Right now, as we speak, four two-kilogram hunks of pancetta are hanging in my basement.

4 x 2KG = yummy!

“WTF?” you may ask. Well I’ll tell you WTF. Once you’ve had real, hand-made pancetta, you’ll never go back to that factory-made crap you think is so exotic. And here’s the secret: making your own pancetta isn’t even difficult.

No indeed. You only need two things: (a) a friend who’s a big fan of Michael Ruhlman’s book Charcuterie, and (b) a cool and dry place to hang the stumps of meat to let them dry and age (two weeks minimum). In this case, His Nibs buys the pork bellies and does the salting and rolling, and I do the tough part; letting it hang in my basement, which is rather perfect for the task.

When it has hung sufficiently, we divide the spoils. There will be much slicing and bagging (fortunately, it freezes very well), and then the pancetta festival will begin:

Etc. etc. etc.

Perhaps there will be pictures.

18 thoughts on “Pancetta Overload

  1. Pancetta… Bacon without the smoking. Tasty but not all that exotic. I’m not a big fan but I bow to thee for doing this yourself. The rewards will surely be awesome :D

  2. I still think they look like severed limbs.

    Mmmm…Arugula salad w/pancetta & balsamic. Going to have to try that one.

    And why we’ve never (not that I can remember anyhow) eaten PLC sandwiches, I’ll never know.

  3. Dave, you haven’t had THIS pancetta! You’re right that it isn’t smoked (which is why I consider it an alternative to, not a replacement for, bacon). However, it has a delicious saltiness, and is flavored with spices. The aroma, even when raw, makes you salivate.

    Comparing this with store-bought pancetta is like comparing boiled chicken to BBQ chicken.

    The milliner; you’re less than two weeks away from your first PLT!

    Anne, it’s easy to make, so make some! :-)

  4. Oh.



    I am SO coming over there.

  5. That’s true. Just like homemade Prosciutto is miles and miles ahead of store bought air-sealed crap. It doesn’t compare.

  6. I forgot that they were downstairs! If I had not seen this picture before I walked in that room today, I would have screamed my head off.

    I’m still a bit scared of going back…

  7. Your husband killed an itinerant Mexican immigrant and cut up the body, Martine. You’re just in denial (which is not a river, by the way).

    Last I checked that’s 25 years to life. Better start clearing out the bedroom for a roommate.


  8. @Nicholas: I’ll start lining up candidates right away! First question: can they cook? ;)

    @Frank: The Mini doesn’t have access to that room, thank god.

  9. I want some. If you have a pork party, I want to be there.

    “Pork Party”? There’s got to be some kind of joke in there, but I am coming up dry.

  10. Ay yay yay, I am SO JEALOUS! People who make charcuterie are my unabashed heroes. Mainly because I can’t be bothered. Maybe I SHOULD be bothered!

    Share the wealth, Blork, don’t you dare be selfish.

    Martine, they’ll never be able to cook as well as Blork. *Sigh* we’ll miss him. Be strong!

  11. Wait! Are you saying that you hung that meat up all by your lonesome?!?! Wow, I agree, to truly are an amazing person. :-)

  12. Noooo, Kitchenette! Don’t lower your standards! ;-)

    But seriously, Michel (the commenter before you) did all the hard work. I’m just hanging the pancettas.

    Mind you, in about a week I’ll begin the joyous task of cooking and eating it!

  13. I’ll have to agree with the milliner on this one. after just finishing season 1 of dexter, these are VERY similar to the renderings of the ‘ice truck killer’. Oh and having tasted previous versions of Michel’s salted meat marvels…enjoy. (that kinda came out a bit..wrong)

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