Very happy with the results. I guess I got it rolled tight enough, as it seems fine inside. You're so right Ron, about how difficult that process can be.
Well, Dave, it looks like you handled it swimmingly. That pancetta is beautiful. A nice, tight roll for sure.
Per request, here's a quick version of the modified Folse/Ruhlman-Polcyn Andouille recipe I made. I'll also enter it into Recipe Gullet later today.
5 1/2 pounds fatty pork shoulder or butt, diced into 1-2" chunks
1/2 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup freshly-cracked black pepper (I'd decrease this next time)
2 T cayenne pepper
1 T dry thyme (I'd increase this next time)
3 T kosher salt
1 t curing (pink) salt
1 C ice water
10' hog casings
Mix the garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and salts together. Sprinkle that mixture over diced pork chunks and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate, covered for up to 24 hours. Grind seasoned mixture, once, through a 1/4" die. Then, using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, slowly add 1 C of ice-cold water to the mixture until it becomes a sticky, homogenous paste (1-2 minutes).
Tube off the mixture into hog casings and twist the casings into links. Let the links dry, uncovered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Once dry, hot-smoke the links at about 180 F, over the wood of your choice. I used hickory on my first try. Next time out, I'll try pecan or cherry. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until the links reach an internal temperature of 150 F. Once fully smoked, dunk the links in a bath of ice water to impede any carry over. Dry links and refrigerate them.