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Just found out that a member of eGullet, @Cia has begun to post his short videos on Italian culinary culture on YouTube. Only one to date but I know there are more in the pipeline. While made by an Italian based in Italy the narrative is in English.
Here's the first instalment:
Novice at meat-curer looking for advice. I'm making 2 pancettas this season.
The first one I used the over-salting technique. What I didn't expect was that the salt would all turn into brine in a day, and I expected that I could scrape away the excess salt at the end. Instead, I left it on the brine for too long, and the result was too salty. The meat firmed up in 2 days so I should've taken it out then.
For my second one, which is currently in the fridge, I used the equilibrium salting technique. I added about 100g salt for 3.5kg meat. The problem now is that it's not firming up seemingly at all! It has been 9 days in the fridge, and flipping it every day or 2. After 6 days, however, there was no pool of brine left. I put the meat in a folded over but unsealed bag. Did the brine evaporate or resoak into the meat?
Any advice on how to continue would be appreciated.
I made some Lonza and cured it for 2 weeks.
In the drying chamber (70% humidity and 55F with gentle air flow) it's only been 4 days but it's already lost 30% of its pre-drying chamber weight. Normally that can take weeks.
Is that normal, and is the meat ready?
Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves.
50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
80 g honey
120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet)
2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon
230 g flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts)
Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
Optional: more olive oil for brushing
Heat oven to 170 deg C.
In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform.
Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix.
Add nuts and fold until well dispersed.
On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough.
With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking.
Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely.
Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices.
Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden.
Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor.
Let chill completely before removing from tray.
Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea.
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