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Home-made Pancetta


ojisan
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Does anyone have helpful hints or methods for removing the skin from pork bellies? (I'm making pancetta.) It's a slow tedious task, and I'm thinking there must be a better way than I'm now doing it. Skin down on the cutting board, and after trying several knives, have settled on using a small deba, with the bevel towards the skin. These particular bellies are very lean, with almost no fat next to the skin, so a ham slicer didn't work.

Any suggestions? Sticking them in the freezer to partially stiffen them?

Monterey Bay area

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I think slow and steady wins this race. I use my all-purpose chef's knife and place the belly skin side up, so that I can peel the skin away as I cut it. I also strive for a close shave; I'd rather have to go back and get a bit of rough skin than take off too much pork fat.

Be sure to cut that skin up and save it for beans, stock, and the like. That collagen is a very good thing.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The skin is far tougher than the fat. I'd probably do it skin side down also and angle your blade slightly toward the skin and let the edge take the path of least resistance. I feel ridiculous saying this but your knife should be very sharp. I'd probably use my slicer (sujihiki).

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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I do skin side up, start at one corner, slide a thin flexible boning knife under the corner of the skin, and start working it toward the opposite corner with a slight sawing motion. Use a paper towel to grasp the skin if it's too slippery. It's all in using the right knife.

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One tip is to make an incision on the skin (inch slit) when you peeled about a half a foot of it. Slip your thumb or finger in the incision and use that as leverage while you cut the skin away. And like what the others have said, going slow is the key. This is how I see Filipino butchers do it.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you considered curing with the skin on? is this a big no-no i know nothing about?

Its what I would do and then remove the skin as and when i used the pancetta

www.naturalfarms.co.uk ~ our wholesale butchery

www.sussexfarms.blogspot.com ~ our pie kitchen

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  • 3 months later...

I am into day 10 of curing my pancetta in my basement and much to my horror I have discovered some spots covered in green fuzzy mold. I have gone ahead an wiped it off with a paper towel soaked in brine. Please tell me I dont need to throw out a whole pork belly because of this, but at the same time I and my family would like to live to eat another meal.

Any opinions on whether I have to trash an entire pork belly belly?

Thanks

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I am into day 10 of curing my pancetta in my basement and much to my horror I have discovered some spots covered in green fuzzy mold.  I have gone ahead an wiped it off with a paper towel soaked in brine.  Please tell me I dont need to throw out a whole pork belly because of this, but at the same time I and my family would like to live to eat another meal.

Any opinions on whether I have to trash an entire pork belly belly?

Thanks

I use diluted vinegar... Its most likely ok, since you caught it this early.Its best to look every day or so, so you can get rid of the stuff....Summers are hotter so the stuff grows faster....Wonder what your temp is in the basement???

Bud

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I am into day 10 of curing my pancetta in my basement and much to my horror I have discovered some spots covered in green fuzzy mold.  I have gone ahead an wiped it off with a paper towel soaked in brine.  Please tell me I dont need to throw out a whole pork belly because of this, but at the same time I and my family would like to live to eat another meal.

Any opinions on whether I have to trash an entire pork belly belly?

Thanks

I use diluted vinegar... Its most likely ok, since you caught it this early.Its best to look every day or so, so you can get rid of the stuff....Summers are hotter so the stuff grows faster....Wonder what your temp is in the basement???

Bud

Temperature is around 70 degrees and humidity is around the same. Certainly not ideal conditions (I made it in the winter when both where around 60, but it currently is the coolest place in the house).

I figure since I will be cooking it things will be o.k.? I am a little concerned that it is growing predominatly in the folds.

Edited by dhut (log)
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Hi dhut.... I have consulted some Italian websites re your problem and this is a typical answer.

Particolare attenzione viene rivolta al colore della muffa che si forma all'esterno della pancetta. Essa deve essere leggera ed esclusivamente di colore bianco.

Particular attention must be paid to the colour of the mould on the outside of the pancetta. It must be light ( meaning not much of it) and exclusively white in colour.

I know that is not the answer you want. :sad: , but if there are only a few spots of the greenish fur, it may be just fine. I have eaten all kinds of Italian dried meat products that have had enough fur on them to braid!! We just cut suspicious bits off and eat..... :biggrin:

My Italian family always used a dry cloth to wipe mould off, but I guess vinegar does no harm. And as far as it forming in folds, dont all funghi just LOVE folds. :wink:

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If you are already into day ten, I wouldn't worry about it, it happens just keep wiping away with vinegar, (Don't know about brine :hmmm: )

I make a lot of biltong (South African dried meat) the principle is the same :biggrin:

Greg

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Wow, 70 deg. for curing meat, is in my opinion asking for trouble. If you don't have a cool place to cure meat, it is probably safer not to do it in the summer.

Pancetta, unlike other cured meats can also by dried in the fridge, uncovered.

Let's remember folks that the reason a pig was butchered in years past at the start of winter, was so that they could cure the meats over the cooler winter months with less fear of spoiling.

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Wow, 70 deg. for curing meat, is in my opinion asking for trouble. If you don't have a cool place to cure meat, it is probably safer not to do it in the summer.

Pancetta, unlike other cured meats can also by dried in the fridge, uncovered.

Let's remember folks that the reason a pig was butchered in years past at the start of winter, was so that they could cure the meats over the cooler winter months with less fear of spoiling.

Thanks for the tip. I will move it, uncovered, to the refrigerator.

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  • 1 year later...

I just scored a 12 pound pork belly and am about to embark on a bacon making frenzy. I plan to take about half of that to make a pancetta. I found a great tutorial and recipe online today but just wanted to hear any stories, good or bad, and maybe some of your favorite recipes that you might want to share.

I plan to blog this ordeal so Ill keep you posted.

Thanks!

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Chef Bradley, home-made pancetta is a good thing.

I've done it and was pleased. Here's a picture: post #39

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Chef Bradley, home-made pancetta is a good thing.

I've done it and was pleased. Here's a picture: post #39

I love the cheescloth idea. Seems most people are using twine, do you see a difference between the cloth hanging and the string hanging?

Great looking pics too. Thanks.

To be honest, that pancetta got better after an additional two weeks in the veggie crisper. And by then I had a proper meat slicer -- thin translucent slices made a difference.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I just scored a 12 pound pork belly and am about to embark on a bacon making frenzy. I plan to take about half of that to make a pancetta. I found a great tutorial and recipe online today but just wanted to hear any stories, good or bad, and maybe some of your favorite recipes that you might want to share.

I plan to blog this ordeal so Ill keep you posted.

Thanks!

This is the very recipe i have been using for the past year, it's wonderful. I haven't found the need to change anything with it all.... yet. Here are some photos:

gallery_52657_5922_233757.jpg

gallery_52657_5922_281289.jpg

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