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dondford

My First Homemade Pancetta & Lardo

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I have made some homemade pancetta following the directions in Ruhlman & Poleyn's "Charcuterie". The preparation, curing and rolling went fine and now its time to hang it for a couple of weeks. The authors recommends hanging it at 50-60 degrees. The problem is there is nowhere in my home that maintains 50-60 degrees; it stays at around 70 degrees.

My question: Am I better off at hanging at the higher temperature, or should I finish it off in the refrigerator?

Thanks,

Don

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At 70F you'll spoil your pancetta with rancid fat flavour: I'd say go with the fridge (a naturally dry environment) even though it's probably below 50, but beware of picking up flavour from other foods. If you're getting into charcuterie regularly, consider a second fridge for it (or a cave in the mountains).

(I dry my home-made bacon in the fridge).

Edit to ask, where did you do the curing ?


Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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At 70F you'll spoil your pancetta with rancid fat flavour: I'd say go with the fridge (a naturally dry environment) even though it's probably below 50, but beware of picking up flavour from other foods.  If you're getting into charcuterie regularly, consider a second fridge for it (or a cave in the mountains).

(I dry my home-made bacon in the fridge).

Edit to ask, where did you do the curing ?

Thanks for the reply.

It was cured in the refrigerator. I did note that one of the authors, in spite of advising the 50-60 degrees, said that he hung his pancetta in his kitchen on the pan rack. its hard to believe his kitchen is that cool.

Don

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I have just finished my first pancetta and lardo following the directions in Ruhlman & Poleyn's "Charcuterie".

The pancetta turned out very nice with nice appearance; I have cooked some and was very pleased how favorable it is. I have never had Italian pancetta and a little surprised how salty it was. It is not as salty as salted "streak a lean", but is fairly salty.

How salty should pancetta be?

The lardo also is pretty, but when I sliced it, the inside has a very slight greenish tint. It tastes fine uncooked , does not smell spoiled and when I cooked it the tint went away and it tasted great cooked.

What do, you think?

Don

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Bravo! Home made pancetta and lardo!

How did you cure the lardo? In Italy, it's usually snow white, and in a cube or block.

I live part of the year in Umbria, and their pancetta is SALTY. I'm fairly certain that the literal translation of the word Umbria is "salted meat". :laugh:

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Congratulations! Impressive! Will you be doing guanciale at some point then?

I don't have the depth of experience that Hathor has in Italy with pancetta, but I do recall actually quite the opposite experience when I had it in Rome and Emlia-Romagna: that it was more spiced than salty and had a more "meaty" flavor instead of the salty stuff you get here.

Foodman, as I'm sure you've seen the Charcuterie thread, is pretty experienced with this book and curing his own meats. He may have some pointers for ya.

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Bravo! Home made pancetta and lardo!

How did you cure the lardo? In Italy, it's usually snow white, and in a cube or block.

I live part of the year in Umbria, and their pancetta is SALTY.  I'm fairly certain that the literal translation of  the word Umbria is "salted meat".  :laugh:

Thanks for your reply. I cured it exactly by the instructions in "Charcuterie" until the prescribed curing time was reached. The slab didn't feel as firm as I thought it should, so I mixed up another batch of the curing mix and rubbed it down and cured it anther week. It firmed up nicely with the extended time. After it was rinsed off, I then air dried it with a fan. At that point I decided to roll it instead of leaving it in a slab (I had the Pancetta rolled at that point and it just looked so neat) I first hung it in my utility room to cure but the temp was around 70 degrees, not the 60 as suggested in the book. that concerned me so I posted a message on this forum asking for advice. Several advised air drying in the refrigerator and that is what I did, for about 24 days. It was a good experience and I learned a lot. The tint makes me wonder, hopefully someone will post a answer.

Don

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Congratulations!  Impressive!  Will you be doing guanciale at some point then?

I don't have the depth of experience that Hathor has in Italy with pancetta, but I do recall actually quite the opposite experience when I had it in Rome and Emlia-Romagna: that it was more spiced than salty and had a more "meaty" flavor instead of the salty stuff you get here. 

Foodman, as I'm sure you've seen the Charcuterie thread, is pretty experienced with this book and curing his own meats.  He may have some pointers for ya.

Funny you should mentioned that; that's exactly what I have mind next. Fresh hog jowl can't be found here, only smoked. But I have called the processor where I got the fatback and pork belly for the Pancetta and Lardo and he said he could supply fresh jowl. I think Guanciale will be a snap after the Pancetta and Lardo; I will need to do the air drying stage in the refrigerator as I did the Pancetta and Lardo; I don't have a place I can maintain 60 degrees. If I keep doing this stuff, I plan to get a old refrigerator and rig a way to maintain a constant 60'ish degree temperature.

Don

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did you rinse the pork belly before rolling it? it shouldn't be that salty.

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did you rinse the pork belly before rolling it? it shouldn't be that salty.

Yes, I rinsed it pretty well, but only enough to get most of the curing mix off. I did not soak it, but rolled after I had air dried it awhile.

Don

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Part of the art of charcuterie comes in how much to salt/rinse/soak something to make it the right salinity. This will all depend on the thickness of the belly, or piece of meat. Unfortunately, following Ruhlman's text to the letter will get you close, but only experience will teach you how long to leave something in the cure, and if you should rinse it or soak it afterwards before drying.

If it is very salty, you either left it in the cure too long, used too much cure, or should have soaked it after curing. Chalk it up to experience and forge on!

Regarding the lardo, i don't know how it could look good outside, but be greenish inside...i don't know if i'd eat green lardo:)

jason

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Hmmmm.... green cured meats = trouble.

I've done lardo a few times and its been nice and white.

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Don, any chance you could post the exact proportions for making lardo (or is it a banned practice around here?:). I don't have access to the book you mentioned.

thanks a lot!

(I wonder whether you ever mentioned to get rid of that green tinge..)


The Gastronomical Me

Russo-Soviet food, voluptuous stories, fat and offal – from a Russian snuggled in the Big Old Smoke.

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Don -- for what is worth, I had the same experience with the pancetta (same recipe, from Ruhlman) being very salty. More salty than I'd have liked, and I'm someone who loooooooves salt. I thought I rinsed it off enough, but my guess is that wasn't the issue, since the salt must have been absorbed into the meat. Does anyone know if it is possible to cut back on the salt in the recipe, so long as the amount of pink salt remains the same?

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